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Survivors unlikely after Colombia mine collapse

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSRescue teams arrive to search for survivors at a collapsed illegal gold mine in Santander de Quilichao, southern Colombia, Thursday, May 1, 2014.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Rescue teams arrive to search for survivors at a collapsed illegal gold mine in Santander de Quilichao, southern Colombia, Thursday, May 1, 2014.

BOGOTA, Colombia >> Authorities have given up hope of finding alive 13 missing miners trapped under 20 meters of heavy debris after a gold mine collapsed in southwest Colombia.

“I pray to God for survivors but it’s impossible,” said Eduardo Grijalba, mayor of the rural town of Santander de Quilichao where the tragedy took place Wednesday night.

The bodies of three people were pulled from the ruble on Thursday but since then rescue workers have been unable to dig to where the men were trapped.

Mining accidents are common in Colombia, especially at wildcat mines like this one in areas dominated by criminal gangs.

Grijalba is pleading with President Juan Manuel Santos to help end illegal mining in the town after failed efforts by local authorities to shut down the mine that collapsed.

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