MEXICO CITY: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that at least 15 people have been killed and another 11 injured in a collapse of an illegal open-pit mine in the Venezuelan state of Bolivar, reported Sputnik.

“(Bolivar State) Governor Angel Marcano is personally participating in the search-and-rescue efforts at the illegal Bulla Loca mine. At the moment, we have 15 dead and 11 injured, and two helicopters are working to recover the wounded,“ Maduro said in a televised appearance on Venezuelan broadcaster VTV.

The collapse of an open-pit mine occurred the day before in the municipality of Angostura and was caught on video, which is circulating on social media. According to the footage, there were dozens of people in the mine. Angostura Municipality head Yorgi Arciniega said that up to 70 miners were under the rubble, but, according to Maduro, this information was unverified.

“The statements about so many dead and stranded people were made by Municipality Mayor Yorgi Arciniega in a state of desperation. He gave them, and CNN immediately published it as news without verifying the information,“ Maduro said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Venezuelan Vice-Minister for Risk Management and Civil Protection, Carlos Perez Ampueda, said on X that rescue and forensic teams have launched search-and-rescue operations at the mine in Bolivar State. Field hospitals have been deployed to the scene, and ambulance and forensic medical teams were working at the site. -Bernama-Sputnik

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