Explosion at Colombian coal mine kills 11

Emergency personnel at the Veracruz coal mine. (Image courtesy of the governor of Cundinamarca, Nicolás García).

Eleven people died and four were injured following an accidental explosion at a coal mine in Colombia’s central Cundinamarca department. 

The incident took place at the Veracruz coal mine, a legal operation located in the Cucunubá municipality. 

About 12% of Colombia’s electricity is generated at coal-fired power plants 

Even though both the Cundinamarca governor, Nicolás García, and the local fire department attended to the emergency, they did not provide details on the causes of the explosion.

After the accident was made public, the National Mining Agency announced a halt to all underground coal mining operations in Cucunubá. 

According to local media, a similar accident took place on Friday at the Montgomery coal mine in the San Cayetano municipality in northeastern Colombia, where six miners were found dead following an unintended blast.

Even though most economic activities have been suspended in Colombia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mining operations have been excluded from the measure. 

As of Sunday, the South American country registered about 1400 confirmed cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus.

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