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Colombia mine collapse 'kills three and leaves dozens trapped'


Three people have died and almost a dozen may still trapped in the rubble left after an allegedly illegal gold mine collapsed in Colombia, according to officials.

The mine folded shortly before midnight in a rural area near Santander de Quilichao, according to Cauca province Governor Temistocles Ortega. The town is situated around 190 miles (315 km) southwest of the capital Bogota.

By mid-afternoon, rescue workers were scouring the debris left in the aftermath of the incident, and had recovered three dead bodies, and three people with injuries, according to municipal police chief Felipe Chacon.

Fifteen people were still missing, he added.

The governor claimed one of the walls of a hole fell in because illegal miners use machinery to open huge holes to extract gold.

Police, troops, civil defense and the Red Cross were aiding in rescue efforts.

Crowds gather near the scene of a landslide. (EPA)

The incident comes less than a week after four people died and 94 were injured in an explosion at a suspected illegal mine in the Buritica district.

Some of those injured suffered carbon-monoxide poisoning, according to a statement by the government of Antoquia province in the northwest of the country, according to Bloomberg.

Additional reporting by Associated Press