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23 Dead After Gold Mine Collapses in Venezuela

Dead After Gold Mine Collapses in Venezuela

An illegal gold mine collapsed in the jungles of southern Venezuela on Tuesday. This incident killed at least 23 people. The region is known as the “Bulla loca” mine in the state of Bolivar. Moreover, this region is a seven-hour boat ride from the nearest town, La Paragua. However, worried family members waited there for news.

The mayor of Angostura municipality is Yorgi Arciniega. He said on Wednesday that they had found about 23 bodies. Fifteen of them arrived by boat in La Paragua. Moreover, about eight more were on their way.

Rescue Efforts and Heartbreak:

Deputy Minister of Civil Protection, Carlos Perez Ampueda, shared a video of the incident on Twitter. However, he didn’t give exact numbers of casualties. About 200 people were working in the mine when it happened. The video showed them working in shallow water. Then, the ground collapsed on them.

Some people escaped. But many of them are trapped. Earlier, Mayor Arciniega mentioned that 15 people had been injured. But till Wednesday afternoon, only four were brought to La Paragua Hospital for treatment.

Edgar Colina Reyes is the Bolivar secretary of state of citizen security. He mentioned that they were taking the injured to a hospital in Ciudad Bolivar. However, this hospital is four hours away from La Paragua. The hospital is 750 km southeast of the capital Caracas, where the accident happened.

Grieving Families Await News of Loved Ones:

Heartbroken family members waited anxiously on the shores. Meanwhile, they are waiting for any updates about their loved ones. Because they were the main earners for the family. One person cried out in sorrow when they saw a body brought off a boat. Another woman awaited news about her brother-in-law, who is a father of three. She was pleading for helicopters to help transport the injured.

Challenges in Rescue Operations:

Reyes said that the military, firefighters, and other rescue teams were coming by plane. They are coming to see the condition of the area. They are also bringing in rescue teams from Caracas to help search operations. These teams are for the people trapped in mines. Ampioda added that these teams are assessing casualties.

Moreover, they will also assist in rescuing the trapped persons. Last December, a similar incident happened in the community of Ikabaru. In this incident, unfortunately, at least 12 people died due to the collapse of the mine.

Illegal Mining and Environmental Concerns:

The Bolivar region in Venezuela has a lot of valuable minerals. These minerals are gold, diamonds, and others. Some people are mining these minerals illegally. Besides, the official mines are run by the government. Robinson Basanta is a resident of the Bolivar region. He said that many miners work in danger.

Because they are very poor and have no other choice. He mentioned that people were forced to work in these mines to make a living. Some people express concerns about the damage to the environment and the children. Because small children are working in these mines without any protection.

Recently, the Venezuelan Armed Forces removed 14,000 illegal miners. These miners were in a national park. These national parks are located in the neighboring state of Amazonas.

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