Gold mine collapses in Colombia; up to 30 people trapped

By Marion V. Ali

Rescue efforts are underway in Colombia to save the lives of up to 30 people trapped underground after a gold mine collapsed in the south-west of the country. At least three miners were killed in the incident.

The collapse occurred shortly before midnight in a rural area near Santander de Quilichao. So far, authorities have recovered three bodies and do not know if there are more victims.

BBC World News and the Associated Press are reporting that the mine was operating illegally. Illegal miners used machinery to open huge holes to extract gold, and a wall on one of them caved in, burying the miners.

Last Friday, poisonous gases killed four miners and affected 65 more in another illegal mine in the Colombian north-west.

Colombia has more than 10,000 operating mines, but many reportedly do not comply with regulations.

(Pic: BBC World/AP)

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