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Mine collapse kills at least 12 in southern Venezuela

PUERTO ORDAZ, Venezuela (Reuters) – Flooding collapsed a gold mine in southern Venezuela, killing at least 12 miners, local authorities said on Sunday, adding that the victims’ bodies were returned to their families.

The Talavera mine, located in El Callao, in Venezuela’s Bolivar state, flooded on Wednesday due to heavy rains but rescue workers could not finish recovery efforts before Saturday.

Another 112 people survived the mine collapse, said Edgar Colina, the secretary for Citizen Security in Bolivar, adding that authorities will return to the site on Sunday to check for other survivors or victims.

A screengrab shows the Isidora mine, which is being used for the rescue of trapped miners, after a mine collapsed in El Callao, Bolivar, Venezuela. Secretary for Citizen Security in Bolivar/Handout via REUTERS

Tunnels at the Talavera mine are opened in a rudimentary fashion by informal miners looking for gold.

The mine is in the so-called Orinoco Mining Arc.

Advocacy groups and other organizations have issued warnings about the region, with the UN last year reporting that human rights violations take place in Venezuela’s mining regions.

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