Published: 11:03, February 28, 2022 | Updated: 11:03, February 28, 2022
Colombia mine explosion kills 11 people, four missing
By Reuters

Members of the Technical Investigation Corps carry a body outside a coal mine after an explosion in Tasco, Colombia, on Feb 27, 2022. (CARLOS RAMIREZ / AFP)

BOGOTA - An explosion at a coal mine in Colombia's Boyaca province killed 11 people and left four missing, the national mining agency (ANM) said on Sunday.

The accident occurred on Saturday night and was caused by a build up of methane gas at the mine, which is located in the Tasco municipality, the ANM said.

The accident occurred on Saturday night and was caused by a build up of methane gas at the mine, which is located in the Tasco municipality

Colombia's mining industry includes huge open-pit and underground projects operated by multinational companies, as well as hundreds of small, informal deposits.

Accidents in the mining sector occur regularly as some enterprises are illegal, or do not properly enforce safety measures.

The mine in Tasco had approval to operate, the ANM said. Rescue crews and fire fighters fear that the four people still missing were also killed in the explosion.

ALSO READ: Colombia: Police foil attempt to assassinate FARC leader Timochenko

Colombia saw 128 mining accidents in 2021, which killed 148 dead. So far this year 19 mining accidents have taken place, with 36 deaths, according to the ANM.