Illegal mining keeps taking lives in Colombia

Three men were killed Monday while working in an illegal mine in the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, according to a statement from the government’s Ingeominas mining oversight institute.

Authorities said that while investigations continue to find the exact causes of the tragedy, it appears the miners didn’t have enough oxygen to breathe while inside the mine. “We reiterate to the mining community that extreme safety measures must be in place in terms of adequate ventilation,” reads Ingeominas’ statement.

Provincial disaster management office Cesar Augusto Hernandez, told Latin America Herald Tribune’s reporters that illegal mines operated with no concern for safety are a significant problem in Colombia, where mining accidents claimed nearly 60 lives in 2011.

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