Alexa

Colombia deficient in mine inspectors

 Miner Fabio Veloza weeps in front of the La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Two relatives of Veloza are ...
 Mine workers rest during operations to recover the bodies of miners feared dead at La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, J...
 Ana Luz Acosta, a relative of miner Jorge Lara, sheds tears outside La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. L...
 Caterine Zapata, wife of miner Jorge Lara, reacts at La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Lara is among 20...

APTOPIX Colombia Mine

Miner Fabio Veloza weeps in front of the La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Two relatives of Veloza are ...

Colombia Mine

Mine workers rest during operations to recover the bodies of miners feared dead at La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, J...

APTOPIX Colombia Mine

Ana Luz Acosta, a relative of miner Jorge Lara, sheds tears outside La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. L...

Colombia Mine

Caterine Zapata, wife of miner Jorge Lara, reacts at La Preciosa mine in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Lara is among 20...

Colombia's mining minister has gone to the scene of the country's latest mining disaster and says the nation has just 16 safety inspectors for 3,000 mines.
Officials suspect a methane gas buildup caused the blast at the La Preciosa coal mine that killed 21 workers Wednesday. Methane gas is also believed responsible for a 2007 disaster at the same mine that claimed 32 lives.
Mining Minister Carlos Rodado said in a radio interview Thursday that the latest disaster should prompt more investment in mine safety.
La Preciosa passed a government safety inspection in November.
The mine has been closed pending an investigation, which will determine whether it will reopen.
Colombia is South America's top coal exporter.