12 dead from asphyxiation in Venezuelan gold mine

In a closed gold mine in southeast Venezuela, 12 individuals perished from asphyxiation, a local official told AFP on Saturday.

“We have 12 dead today,” the secretary of security in El Callao, General Edgar Colina Reyes, said in a telephone interview.

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“They entered a mine that had been closed a long time.”

The deaths occurred on Wednesday when “the mine was flooded from rains,” cutting off the illegal miners’ oxygen supply, Colina said.

He stated that five bodies were found on Friday and seven more on Saturday, but that no bodies had yet been recognized.

One person died in 2021 when a shaft at the same gold mine collapsed, although 34 other miners were saved.

Mining activity is abundant in southern Venezuela, both legally and illegally, and accidents are frequent.

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