Five die in Colombian goldmine collapse

Bogota, Feb 15: At least five people were killed and 17 injured when an illegal goldmine in Colombia collapsed, said authorities.

The remote goldmine in the heart of a jungle near the city of Santa Barbara in Narino Department can only be reached by boat or helicopter, which makes search and rescue operations difficult, reported Xinhua citing Narino Governor Raul Delgado.

Preliminary investigation showed that the tragedy, which occurred Friday, may have been caused by unlicensed digging that loosened the earth.

Colombia has a rich resource of gold. However, with some areas under the control of armed anti-government groups, it has been difficult for mining companies to conduct business.

Though illegal, private mining is common in parts of the country.