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Montevideo, April 23rd 2024 - 07:30 UTC

 

 

Venezuelan authorities confirm death toll of 16 after illegal mine collapse

Friday, February 23rd 2024 - 16:43 UTC
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Governor Marcano acknowledged the dangers of illegal mining and announced plans to meet with local communities to “organize” their activity and “create safety conditions for their work” Governor Marcano acknowledged the dangers of illegal mining and announced plans to meet with local communities to “organize” their activity and “create safety conditions for their work”

Venezuelan authorities confirmed the death toll of 16 miners following the collapse of an illegal gold mine in the southern state of Bolivar on Tuesday. Search efforts concluded Friday with no further casualties reported.

“No more deaths have been reported,” stated Bolivar Governor Angel Marcano at a press conference. “We asked God not to find anything, and in two days of searching after the event, we have not found” more victims.

The accident occurred at the “Bulla Loca” mine, located on the La Paragua River. A video released by government officials showed dozens of miners working in the open-pit quarry when a landslide struck, burying several beneath the debris.

Governor Marcano acknowledged the dangers of illegal mining and announced plans to meet with local communities to “organize” their activity and “create safety conditions for their work.” He emphasized the need to transition miners from illegality, highlighting the environmental damage caused by unregulated mining practices.

The Arco Minero region has an extension of 112,000 km2 with large reserves of minerals. While the State exploits the area, there is also a concerning presence of illegal groups and criminal gangs causing an 'ecocide,' according to environmentalists cited by AFP.

NGO SOS Orinoco documented 54 deaths in mining incidents across Bolivar and Amazonas states between 2017 and 2022. This latest tragedy brings the number to 70, raising concerns about the safety and well-being of miners operating outside legal frameworks.

The Venezuelan government has deployed emergency response teams to the area, and they will remain for a month to assist with recovery efforts and provide support to the affected communities.

48 hours after the tragedy, the search for survivors continues, it was reported.

Categories: Environment, Venezuela.

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