A Chilean congressional commission on Wednesday found two mine owners responsible for the accident that trapped 33 men 800m underground for 69 days last year.
The commission’s report, which was expected to be approved by the lower house yesterday, said members unanimously found Alejandro Bohn and Marcelo Kemeny responsible for the collapse that trapped the men deep inside the San Jose mine, whose veins of copper and gold had been pursued for more than 100 years in poorly reinforced tunnels under the Atacama desert in northern Chile.
Chilean Deputy Alejandro Garcia Huidobro said the commission also determined that Chile’s mine safety agency was administratively responsible for failing to fully enforce its safety rules.
The report is expected to help lawyers for the miners pursue lawsuits against the owners.
Bohn and Kemeny denied being negligent or otherwise responsible for the collapse, in which a 700,000 tonne granite monolith, the very center of the remote hilltop, crashed down, shutting off any hope of escape without a Herculean rescue effort.
Both executives also face charges in an earlier accident in which a falling slab of rock sliced off a miner’s leg.
The remarkable rescue effort, involving more than 300 people who supported the drilling and kept the miners safe and well-fed below, was paid for by the Chilean government, which has estimated that the company must repay US$20 million.
The mining company is under bankruptcy protection and its assets have been sold off to help resolve debts and pay severance to the miners.
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies