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5 Feb, 2007 05:10

Gas explosion kills 32 Colombian coal miners

Gas explosion kills 32 Colombian coal miners

A gas explosion in a coal mine in Colombia has killed 32 people. Officials say rescue teams have recovered most of the bodies which were trapped more than 400 metres underground.

Efforts to remove the bodies have been hampered by toxic gases and poor working conditions.

Dangerously high levels of methane in the mine meant it was impossible for crews to stay below ground for long periods.

According to authorities the blast was caused by a spark which ignited the gas.