Bodies of 49 mine workers retrieved in Colombia
The bodies of 49 miners killed in one of the worst mining accidents in Colombia were retrieved Wednesday, DPA reported.
There was a powerful methane explosion in the San Fernando coal mine in north-western Colombia on June 16. Last week, search teams found the bodies of 22 miners, Antioquia province disaster coordinator John Rendon said.
Rendon said high concentrations of methane and carbon monoxide in the 2,500-metre-deep coal mine near the town of Amaga continued to hamper rescue efforts.
Only seven of the 79 miners who were working underground at the time of the explosion could be recovered alive, said Alfredo Ramos, governor of Antioquia province, last week.
According to Ramos, the mine passed a safety inspection despite lacking a ventilation system for dangerous gases, a basic safety feature.
Normally 600 miners work in the mine, but the explosion occurred during shift change, likely sparing some lives.
Colombian mines, including many that are illegal, are considered especially dangerous. The mine hit by the explosion, however, was licensed and considered to be one of the safer operations.