15 Killed After Illegal Open-Pit Gold Mine Collapses In Venezuela

Caracas:  Fifteen people were killed and 11 others injured after an illegally operated open-pit mine collapsed in La Paragua, the city of Angostura in the country’s southeastern Bolivar state, said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday night.

Search and rescue teams continue to be deployed in the area by ground and air to find trapped miners after the unfortunate incident.

Angostura Mayor Yorgi Arciniega said that he planned to take “some 30 caskets” to a community near the mine, indicating that the death toll has risen to 15.

Relatives of the miners gathered in La Paragua, the closest community to the mine, to ask the government to send aircraft to the remote location to rescue the injured and recover bodies.

Venezuela’s government 2016 established a huge mining development zone stretching across the country to add new revenues alongside its oil industry. Since then, mining operations for gold, diamonds, copper and other minerals have increased within and outside that zone.

Many mines operate outside or on the margins of the law. They offer lucrative jobs for ordinary Venezuelans, but the conditions are brutal.

Sunil Kumar Dhangadamajhi

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