Six days ago, four people were trapped inside the mine after the access tunnel to the Rio Chiquito coal mine collapsed.
Since the miners have not been contacted, their health status is still unknown. The trapped workers are Luz Bonilla (58), Francisco Cuadros, Javier Lemus (31), and Remigio Gutierrez (36).
While the ANM leads the search and rescue efforts, the National Police (PNC), the army and the Red Cross are also helping to remove at least 300 tons of rock to get to the point where the miners could be.
Relatives of miners comfort each other at the entrance of the El Cedro coal mine in the municipality of El Zulia, Norte de Santander, Colombia, after an explosion at the site left eight miners killed and one missing Credit: Schneyder Mendoza/AFP pic.twitter.com/f4QZ9LIWaP
“The protocol to save these workers is ready,” the ANM reported, adding that the rescue team has advanced approximately 13 meters through the most difficult part and reached almost half of the distance to the site where the workers are.
“The mine collapsed. It is very difficult to work in this mine due to poor transport systems, inadequate ventilation, and instability. It was a lot of material that fell down,” ANM spokeswoman Catalina Gheorghe said.
“Men from all over Boyaca have come offering their help ... These heroes work 24 hours a day,” Sagamoso Mayor Rigoberto Alfonso said.