May 9, 2011 in Nation/World

14 bodies recovered from mine blast

Associated Press

SAN JUAN DE SABINAS, Mexico – Rescue crews recovered the last of 14 bodies early Sunday from a coal mine racked by a gas explosion last week, while Labor Secretary Javier Lozano called for an overhaul of mine safety in Mexico.

Mexican officials said the blast Tuesday was caused by a buildup of gas. The national mine workers union said the mine’s work force was not unionized and accused the government of allowing mines to operate with unsafe conditions.

The explosion was so powerful it also seriously injured a teenager who reportedly lost an arm as he worked on the surface outside the mine. Lozano said earlier that the boy’s employment at the mine was an apparent violation of labor laws.

In announcing that the last body had been recovered, Lozano said his ministry would embark on a project to make sure all mining companies follow the law and provide safe conditions for their workers.

“We want clean coal, coal without blood,” he said.

A similar blast caused by a methane gas buildup killed 65 miners in February 2006 at Mexico’s Pasta de Conchos coal mine in nearby San Juan de Sabinas.

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