SANTIAGO – Four people died Monday when the truck carrying explosives which they were riding on blew up near a mine in northern Chile, officials said.
The accident occurred in the Antofagasta region when the truck collided with another truck about 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) on the road leading to the Elenita and Rencoret mines, 3 kilometers (about 1.8 miles) north of the town of Baquedano and 1,430 kilometers (887 miles) north of Santiago.
"It's confirmed that there are four people dead and there is nobody injured," said the head of the regional National Emergency Office, or Onemi, Irina Saldado.
Medical personnel and members of the Carabineros - Chile's militarized police - as well as firefighters have been dispatched to the site of the blast.
In addition, representatives of the Attorney General's Office and the Legal Medical Service are on the scene with the task of investigating the causes of the accident.
It is not yet known where the four deceased workers were employed.
One of the owners of the Elenita mine, Patricio Cespedes, told El Mercurio newspaper of Antofagasta that none of his mineworkers were involved in the crash and subsequent explosion.
He said that the collision occurred on the road that leads not only to his mine but also to the Rencoret mine.
The two mines are located about 600 kilometers (372 miles) north of the San Jose mine, where work continues to rescue 33 miners trapped - but apparently in good health and now receiving food and other supplies from the surface - some 700 meters (2,275 feet) below ground on Aug. 5 in a mine collapse. EFE