Owners Blamed For Chilean Mine Incident

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News Americas, SANTIAGO, Chile, Thurs. Mar. 3, 2011: The owners of a Chilean mine have been blamed for the rockfall which left 33 men trapped underground for 69 days last year.

A congressional commission in Chile blamed Alejandro Bohn and Marcelo Kemeny were guilty of negligence as the investigation into the incident, which grabbed international headlines, concluded.

Workers said the mine lacked basic safety standards while relatives of the miners and some of the men themselves have fiercely criticized the mine owners, accusing them of ignoring safety guidelines.

The commission added that the Chilean mine safety regulator bore some responsibility for failing to enforce its rules. Congress is expected to vote on the suggestions put forward by the commission on Thursday.

The mine’s owners have denied the claim.

The mine collapse occurred in August 2010 and cut off 33 miners at a depth of more than 700-m (2,300ft) for 69 days before they were finally rescued. Many of the miners recently toured Israel, courtesy of the country’s tourism ministry.

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