The final number of victims in the Columbia mine disaster may never be known, according to rescue officials there.
The final number of victims in the Columbia mine disaster may never be known, according to rescue officials there. By Saturday (16 July) 96 bodies had been brought up from the Villa Daina coal mine at Medellin, 220 miles (350 kilometres) north of the capital, Bogota.
SYNOPSIS: Even as rescue workers continued in their despair search for survivors on Saturday, officials said an estimated 40 miners were still trapped underground. The exact number in the mine at the time of last Thursday's (14 July) coal gas explosion is unknown. Rescue ??? have been hampered by blocked galleries and the presence of poisonous gas and one rescuer has already died.
While the rescue work ??? on, the bodies of those already recovered were awaiting burial at nearby cemeteries. The Colombia Government, meanwhile, ??? announced an emergency ??? to help the families of victims. A statement by Labour Minister Oscar Mon said the Government would provide housing and ??? for widows and orphans of the dead miners. An official investigation has already begun into the exact cause of the ??? which came while two work teams were changing shift.