Factbox - Recent mining disasters in Latam and elsewhere
(Reuters) - A collapsed tunnel at a wildcat gold pit in south Venezuela has killed at least six people and more may be trapped, authorities said, the latest recent South American accident to focus attention on mine safety.
Here are some of the most recent deadly incidents in the region:
* Thirty three miners were trapped after a collapse in a small gold and copper mine in Chile at the start of August. Rescuers were still working on Tuesday to free the men after 19 days underground and warned the operation could take months. The miners are surviving on food, medicine and water passed down a small bore-hole. Mining accidents are relatively rare in major operations in Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer.
* In June, more than 70 miners were killed after a gas explosion at a coal mine in Colombia. It took rescuers days to pull out all the bodies after the country's worst mining disasters in decades. Last year, a methane gas explosion killed eight workers in another provincial Colombian coal mine and in 2007, 31 miners were killed in an explosion in the country's Norte de Santander province. Colombia is the world's No. 5 coal producer and is enjoying a boom in oil and mining as its guerrilla war ebbs.
* In February of this year, eight workers died at a coal mine in the northern Peruvian province of Oyon. The government called it an informal mine. About 60 miners die each year in Peru and 620 have lost their lives in the past decade, according to official data. Peru is a leading metals exporter.
* Last year at least seven Bolivian miners died after inhaling poisons gases in the country's mines. Around 60,000 miners work in Bolivia, many of whom are small-scale miners operating with little safety equipment or monitoring.
* Sixty-five miners died in 2006 after an explosion at Mexico's Pasta de Conchos coal mine, owned by Grupo Mexico. The blast was blamed on an accumulation of methane and coal dust. Union officials accused the company of ignoring safety problems at the mine. The company denied the allegations. The disaster contributed to a breakdown in relations between Grupo Mexico and the miners' union.
OTHER RECENT MINING DISASTERS AROUND THE WORLD:
* April 2010 - USA - An explosion killed 29 miners in West Virginia in the deadliest U.S. mine disaster since 1984. *
* January 2010 - CHINA - At least 25 miners died in a fire at a colliery in Hunan Province in central China.
* February 2005 - CHINA - A gas explosion at the Sunjiawan colliery of state-owned Fuxin Coal Industry Group kills 214.
(Reporting by Patrick Markey in Bogota, Terry Wade in Lima, Robert Campbell in Mexico City and Eduardo Garcia in La Paz; Editing by Alden Bentley)
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