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  • Chilean Police effectives (Carabineros) at La Poderosa Mine, in Coquimbo, Chile. July 20, 2020.

    Chilean Police effectives (Carabineros) at La Poderosa Mine, in Coquimbo, Chile. July 20, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @Carabdechile

Published 20 July 2020
Opinion

In 2019, Sernageomin recorded 14 mineworkers who died after 10 accidents. One of them occurred in Coquimbo.

Chile's Geology and Mining National Service (Sernageomin) Monday said that two mineworkers who died after an explosion and tunnel collapse in La Poderosa mine in the Punitaqui zone in the northern region of Coquimbo.

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"A team of Sernageomin is on the ground conducting research and obtaining all the background information on the unfortunate fatal accident at La Poderosa mine in the Punitaqui commune. So far, two deaths have been confirmed," the institution tweeted.

Victim's colleagues, local authorities, and community residents collaborated in victims' search—about 10 tons of rocks, clay, and other material collapsed upon the mineworkers. The Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurika, also lamented the accident.

Sernageomin sent a specialized research team to assess the fatality origin. The Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurika, also grieved the accident.

Despite official reports, prosecutor Paulo Duarte said that a miner died during the explosion, and another was missing. He also requested the Special Police Operations Group (GOPE) to investigate the incident causes and said there is no conclusive evidence.

Coquimbo region is the fifth in Chilean copper production. In 2019, Sernageomin recorded 14 mineworkers who died after ten accidents. One of them occurred in Coquimbo.

In this period, the most frequent type of accident with fatal consequences was "rock hitting," which represents over 40 percent of the total number of deaths, followed by motor vehicle accidents with 28.5 percent of the fatalities, also electrocution and falls from height cause over a quarter of deaths.

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