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The accident took place in the locality of Taltal, 300 kilometres from Santiago. Authorities said that the explosion occurred in a copper venture. The governor of Antofagasta, Pablo Tolosa, said that the accident occurred at the “Palo Blanco” mine, in Taltal city.
The incident left one dead and one wounded. The victim was identified as Jordan Araya, 19 years old.
Director of Work, María Cecilia Sánchez, described the venture as “illegal, since the company was now closed.”
In addition, she indicated that staff from the ministry of work responsible for overseeing the venture.
Last year, a collapse in an exploration of copper and gold in the Atacama desert left 33 miners trapped underground for over 70 days. The incident occurred on 5th August.
The president of the Confederation of Copper Workers, Cristian Cuevas, said that the accident revealed “the precarious situation of workers in the copper industry in Chile.”
The former Director of Work, María Ester Feres, said that between January and March last year there were 155 workers killed in their workplaces. Feres was the Director of Work during the government of Ricardo Lagos.
In a separate incident, last November two miners lost their lives. Another employee was injured in the same accident.
Story courtesy of Agencia Púlsar, the news agency of AMARC-ALC.