Latin America & Caribbean

Rescue workers recover bodies of Colombian gold miners

Rescue workers carry the body of one of the miners May 14, 2015 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The mine collapsed as a result of flooding, apparently after a power cut shut off pumps used to keep out water

Rescue workers have begun recovering the bodies of miners trapped in a flooded gold mine in Colombia.

So far six bodies have been recovered, and the authorities believe there may be nine more bodies inside the mine.

Officials said some of the miners were trapped at a depth of about 17m (55 feet).

The mine collapsed because of flooding, apparently after a power cut shut off pumps to keep out water from a nearby river.

The accident happened in Caldas province in north-western Colombia.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Colombia is a major gold producer but most of its mines are unregulated

Leonardo Mejia, the mine owner, told reporters that several miners had managed to escape when they realised something was wrong.

The National Mining Agency (ANM) said local firefighters reported that gases in the deep, vertical tunnels had contributed to the cave-in.

Colombia is a major gold producer but more than half its mines are unregulated.

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