BOGOTA – Seven people were killed and two others injured Wednesday in a landslide at a gold mine in the northwestern Colombian province of Choco, authorities said.
As many as 15 miners were working when the avalanche occurred, around 12:10 a.m., Atrato city clerk Cruz Ernilia Palacios told Efe by telephone.
She said the mine is a five-minute drive from the center of Atrato.
“The collapse buried nine people, two of whom managed to get out,” while the bodies of the other seven were found during the night, Palacios said.
Five of the dead were women, according to the city official, who said the other miners working at the time of the landslide were not in its path.
Palacios said the mine’s operators rely mainly on heavy machinery and pumps to extract ore and that the people working at the site during the wee hours are independent contractors.
The 84 mining accidents Colombia experienced in 2010 resulted in 173 deaths. Most of the incidents took place at coal mines. EFE