AMAGA, Colombia (AP) - Colombian authorities are holding out little hope for the dozens of coal miners trapped underground by an explosion that killed at least 18 workers during a shift change.
National Disaster Director Luz Amanda Pulido tells the Associated Press that chances are very slim that any of the approximately 50 trapped miners are still alive given the accumulation of methane gas and carbon monoxide in the San Fernando Mine.
Relatives held wakes Friday for some of those killed in Wednesday night's fiery blast in a 1.2-mile access tunnel.
Pulido says that rescue efforts are being hampered by gas buildups in the mine.
The biggest loss of life in a Colombian mining disaster was in 1977, when 85 people died at a different mine in Amaga.
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