By Abimbola Ogunnaike
No fewer than 12 people were confirmed dead on Saturday, 3 June 2023, from asphyxiation in a shuttered gold mine in southeastern Venezuela, a local official said.
The Secretary of Security in El Callao, General Edgar Colina Reyes, who confirmed the sad development in a telephone interview on Saturday, 3 June, 2023, said that the deaths occurred on last Wednesday.
“We have 12 dead today.They entered a mine that had been closed a long time.The mine was flooded from rains,” cutting off the illegal miners’ oxygen supply,”Reyes said.
Five bodies were recovered Friday and seven more on Saturday, he said, adding that none have yet been identified.
In 2021, the collapse of a shaft at the same gold mine caused the death of one person, while 34 others were rescued.
Southern Venezuela teems with legal and illegal mining activity, and accidents are common.