Colombia mine explosion kills 5, traps 70

June 17th, 2010 - 8:11 pm ICT by BNO News  

AMAGA, COLOMBIA (BNO NEWS) — At least five miners were killed and 70 others remain trapped after a large gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in northwest Colombia on Thursday, officials said.

The blast happened around 1 a.m. local time at the San Fernando mine in Amaga, a town in the country’s Antioquia Department. John Fredy Rendon, director of the Antioquia Disaster Prevention and Attention System, confirmed at least five people had been killed.

Seventy others are believed to remain trapped. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Around 150 people were inside the mine when the explosion happened, but at least 80 of them were rescued several hours after the accident. Rendon said there was a shift change at the time of the explosion, which means there were more employees in the mine than normally.

The San Fernando mine is one of the largest coal mines in Colombia.

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