Two gold miners have died in an explosion in a mine in Chile after they reportedly went into the facility to check on the installation of explosives and were covered in tonnes of debris when they went off.
The incident took place at the La Poderosa private gold mine in the municipality of Punitaqui, in the central Chilean region of Coquimbo yesterday (Monday).
The National Geology and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN) confirmed the explosion had taken place on their official Twitter profile and said the causes are being investigated.
Local newspaper La Nacion report preliminary investigations suggest the two victims were a supervisor and a worker who had gone into the mine to check on the installation of explosives.
Local radio station Radio Biobio report that when the explosives went off, up to 10 tonnes of debris may have collapsed. It is unclear if the incident was a planned explosion which went wrong or if the explosives went off by accident.
The local police (Carabineros) confirmed to La Nacion that two people had died inside the mine and Coquimbo prosecutor Paulo Duarte has called for the homicide unit and forensic scientists to work at the scene.
Baldo Prokurica, the Minister of Mining, wrote on Twitter: “We regret to inform you that a serious accident at the La Poderosa mine has been registered this morning (Monday).”
Duarte told local newspaper La Nacion that the investigation is ongoing and no hypotheses can be dismissed.
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