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Gold mine collapse kills 5 in northwestern Colombia


09:13, June 24, 2013

BOGOTA, June 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 5 miners were killed and five others injured after an illegal gold mine collapsed on Sunday in Colombia's northwestern Antioquia region, where rescue works are still looking for trapped workers, officials said.

Cesar Hernandez, director of Antioquia's Prevention and Disaster Office, said the incident occurred in a rural area of Zaragoza township. Four injured miners were taken to local hospitals while another one was transferred to a more complex medical center in Caucacia municipality in the northeast.

"The dead and the injured people are 'barequeros' (informal miners) who had no formal employment relationship with the mine. They had an agreement with the mine owner to work at certain times, " Hernandez told local media.

According to Hernandez, the authorities are conducting an investigation to identify the causes of the mine collapse.

Meanwhile, Colombia's National Confederation of Miners claimed that the mine was illegal, although it was in process to legalize their activity.

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