At least 11 people have lost their lives and ten more remained trapped after a coal mine exploded in central Colombia.

The governor of the Cundinamarca department, Nicolas Garcia mentioned this to Blue Radio on Wednesday.

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According to him, the accident that happened in the municipality of Sutatausa occurred due to an accumulation of gases that exploded after a worker’s tool caused a spark. The explosion happened late Tuesday night at a series of legal mines that are linked.

Firefighters and rescue workers could be seen at the entrances to the coal mines in images from local media, with a handful of relatives awaiting information about their loved ones.

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The miners were trapped 900 meters (2,950 feet) underground, making access difficult for the more than 100 rescuers working on the search, Garcia said.

“Every minute that passes means less oxygen,” he said.

Mining accident has been recorded in Colombia over the past few years. In August, nine miners were rescued from a collapsed illegal coal mine in the central Cundinamarca department. In 2021, the fourth-largest Latin American economy recorded 148 deaths in mining incidents.

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