Six killed in Mexico coal mine explosion

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 03, 2012 1:52 PM
Six killed in Mexico coal mine explosion

By Liz Diaz

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Six miners were killed in a coal mine collapse in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila on Friday, an emergency rescue team source on the site told Reuters.

One miner was rescued earlier, according to a separate report from the mine operator.

The explosion was triggered when a large amount of methane gas ignited, causing the collapse of 100 tonnes of coal, mine owner Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) said in a statement.

Nearly 300 miners evacuated the mine without incident, the company said.

The explosion marks the second disaster at a small coal mine in northern Mexico in the past 10 days.

A July 25 explosion killed seven miners, highlighting lax safety conditions in small mines that are often poorly regulated.

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Men have mined the largely unregulated, small "pozito" mines that dot Coahuila for more than a century.

A 2006 methane explosion at the much larger Piedras Negras mine, owned by Grupo Mexico, killed 65 miners.

(Reporting By Liz Diaz; Additional reporting and writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Eric Walsh)