70 feared dead in Colombian mine blast

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70 feared dead in Colombian mine blast

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More than 70 Colombian miners are feared dead after they were trapped by an explosion that tore through a coal mine in the Antioquia province in the north west of the country.

The blast in the San Fernando mine, thought to have been caused by a build up of methane gas, collapsed part of an access tunnel.

There were between 70 and 80 miners at work at the time of the explosion,18 bodies have been recovered, two workers escaped the carnage.

Elena Sanchez is the mother of one of the trapped miners:

“I have a son. And they told us that we have to wait. Only that we have to wait to go identify them.”

However, there is confusion surrounding the safety of the mine.

Colombia’s mining minister Hernan Martinez claims the mine lacked a methane ventilation pipe and gas detection devices.

While the director of the country’s state mining institute says the mine passed its annual safety check just last month.