Death toll at 32 in Colombia mine blast

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Colombian rescuers have retrieved the bodies of 32 miners killed in last week's coal mine explosion.

Antioquia State Disaster Coordinator John Rendon says at least 40 workers are still underground. Officials hold out little hope that any are still alive.

Rescuers pulled 13 bodies Sunday from deep inside the 1.2-mile access tunnel at the San Fernando Mine in northwest Colombia. The blast occurred on Wednesday.

Rendon says debris and the persistent buildup of methane and carbon monoxide gases continue to impede rescue efforts.

The exact cause of the explosion is unknown, but the mine's records indicate it lacked a methane ventilation pipe and gas-detection devices.

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