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Six people die in illegal Venezuelan mine

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Six miners are killed and two injured while working in an illegal site
  • The mine had been closed for five years
  • The miners had been told to leave the area, but did not listen

(CNN) -- Six miners were killed and two were injured in an accident at an illegal gold mine in eastern Venezuela, the country's minister of basic industry and mines said Tuesday.

The accident happened at the Tomi mine in the city of El Callao in Bolivar state, Jose Khan said, according to the state-run AVN news agency.

One day earlier, authorities had asked the workers at that mine, which had been closed for five years, to abandon the mine, but they didn't listen, Khan said.

The workers in the mine used hammers to open spaces that caused the mine to cave in, he said.

"These workers were not authorized and operated in an area without permits, thereby risking their lives," Khan said, according to AVN.

The accident occurred at about 8 p.m. Monday night, he said.