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Chilean mine collapse report blames owners

The mining accident which trapped 33 men below ground for 72 days has been blamed on poor regulation and inadequate safety measures.

File photo of Luis Urzua (centre), the last of the 33 miners freed from the mine, on 13 October, 2010.
File photo of Luis Urzua (centre), the last of the 33 miners freed from the mine, on 13 October, 2010.
Image: AP Photo/Alex Ibanez, Chilean Presidential Press Office

A REPORT INTO THE COLLAPSE of a Chilean mine which trapped 33 men for 27 days last year has primarily blamed the mine’s two owners for the incident.

A commission established by Chile’s Congress has blamed the San Esteban Primera mining company owners Alejandro Bohn and Mercelo Kemeny for the mine collapse, the Telegraph reports.

Commission member Felipe Harboe said the company had clearly been negligent.

The commission’s report blames the two owners for failing to implement adequate safety measures at the mine.

It also blames the Chilean mining regulator for insufficient inspections, but no government officials were implicated in the report’s findings.

Yesterday, Chile’s mining minister Laurence Golborne announced plans to reform the safety elements of the country’s mining industry, Xinhua reports.

The Chilean government has allocated €29.37m ($40m) to the National Service of Geology and Mining – over 60% more money than last year – and has been reviewing current regulations with a view to reduce mining accidents.

The 33 men were rescued from the mine in mid-October after a mammoth rescue effort involving international mining experts and NASA.

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