First female fatality in Chile’s mining industry

First female fatality in Chile’s mining industry

Los Pelambres mine.

A 25-year-old female truck driver died when her vehicle flipped over near Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile, making her the first woman killed while employed in the industry, owner Antofagasta Minerals (LON:ANTO) said.

Elena Avila Zepeda was killed Saturday in the northern town of Los Vilos after presumably losing control of her truck, which plunged 20 meters into a pit.

"This is an event that saddens me and concerns me enormously as a woman and a mother. It is, without a doubt, a sad milestone in the country's history," Mining Minister Aurora Williams was quoted as saying by La Tercera (in Spanish)

"This accident is a sad milestone in the country's history because it is the first time that a woman dies in a mine's own operations," Williams added.

Of the almost 230,000 people employed by the mining industry across Chile, about 17,000 are women.

With this incident there are already 16 people who have died in the country’s industry so far this year.