Colombian Mine Blast, 9 Missing

Up to nine miners are feared dead in blasts at two separate coal mines in central Colombia.

The blasts are believed to be caused by methane gas explosions.

The Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining said two people died at a mine in the municipality of Lenguazaque.

The miners were trapped in a tunnel and apparently suffered from a lack of oxygen and excessive amounts of carbon dioxide.

Rescuers recovered one body after a larger explosion at a nearby coal mine in the municipality of Guacheta, while the fate of another six miners remains unknown.

In June, 73 miners died at a north-western coal mine following an explosion investigators said was also due to high methane gas levels.

It was the worst mining disaster in Colombia since July 1977 when 86 workers died in similar circumstances.

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