Search for 10 trapped Colombian miners after blast kills 11

SUTATAUSA- Rescuers and miners raced against the clock Wednesday to save 10 workers trapped in a central Colom­bian coal mine after an explosion killed at least 11 people.

With oxygen fast running out for any survivors, family members out­side the mine waited wrapped in woolen ponchos against the cold, desperate for news of their loved ones. Separated from the accident site by a barbed wire barricade, they watched as a machine pumped wa­ter out of a mine shaft.

President Gustavo Petro called it “an unfortunate tragedy,” in a Twitter message. “We are making every ef­fort with the Cundinamarca regional government to rescue the trapped people alive,” he said, offering “a hug of solidarity to the victims and their families.” National mining agency ANM said two workers had been res­cued from the mine at Sutatausa.

“We regret what happened and we stand in solidarity with the families of those affected,” ANM posted on Twitter. A build-up of methane gas apparently triggered the Tuesday night explosion in the underground complex, Sutatausa municipality’s mayor Jaime Arevalo told AFP.

He confirmed the death toll and said relief agencies are working to locate the missing miners, who are believed to be trapped some 900 meters (2,950 feet) underground.

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