Chilean mine blast leaves two dead

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SANTIAGO, July 20 (Xinhua) — An explosion early Monday at the La Poderosa copper mine in northern Chile left at least two people dead, Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica said.

The minister added he regretted the fatal accident at the mine in the community of Punitaqui, some 400 km north of the capital Santiago.

Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) confirmed two people died after some explosives were detonated and investigative teams were sent to the site to determine what went wrong.

Following the accident, prosecutor Paulo Duarte told the media there would be an investigation because “we cannot rule out anything.”

Authorities contacted the GOPE, or Special Police Operations Group, to look into the “explosive material,” said Duarte.

Also helping the investigation is the forensics laboratory of the investigative police unit and the Homicide Brigade, he said.

According to preliminary reports, at least 10 tons of debris loosened by the blast fell on top of the victims. Enditem

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