Colombia’s National Mining Agency informed that 11 people remain trapped since March 26 inside an illegal gold operation located in the central Caldas department.
According to the Agency, a 17-metre deep pit flooded with at least 3 cubic metres of water given that the area is experiencing torrential rains. Four entrances to the pit, located to the south of the main well and two to the north are completely covered by water.
Rescue teams had to be taken to the site via rail as the main roads had been damaged and blocked by ongoing storms.
The Mining Safety and Rescue Group, the fire department, the Civil Protection Agency, local authorities, other miners, personnel from Canada’s Caldas Gold, and other emergency organizations have been at the site day and night, trying to bring the miners back to the surface.
Electric pumps to extract water have been installed and authorities asked the Caldas Hydroelectric Plant to make the necessary adjustments to maintain a 220v three-phase current and guarantee that the pumping equipment can efficiently operate.
“I’m very sorry that this happened and stand by the miners’ families during this emergency in Neira’s El Bosque community,” Luis Carlos Velásquez, Caldas’ governor, said in a statement. “Personnel from the municipal, departmental and national government continue to join forces to maintain the search and rescue efforts.”