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Twenty-one miners killed in Colombia coal mine explosion

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A miner gestures as he waits for the retrieving of the corpses of four of his colleagues which remain inside the shafts at "La Preciosa" in Corregimiento San Roque, Sardinata's municipality, department of Norte de Santander, Colombia on January 27, 2011. Twenty-one miners were killed when "La Preciosa" coal mine exploded on Wendsday in Corregimiento San Roque, Sardinata municipality. Dozens of rescuers scrambled Thursday to locate four miners missing and feared dead after the bodies of 17 others were recovered from the coal mine in northeastern Colombia. Six other miners survived with serious injuries after an explosion ripped through La Preciosa coal mine early Wednesday.

Guillermo Legaria / AFP-Getty Images

A police officer walks his search and rescue dog outside "La Preciosa" in Corregimiento San Roque, Sardinata's municipality, department of Norte de Santander, Colombia on January 27, 2011

People look over the wall of the morgue as relatives claim the bodies of workers who died from a mine explosion in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011.

Relatives carry the coffin of a miner who died in a mine explosion from the morgue in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Thursday Jan. 27, 2011. Twenty-one miners were killed when an explosion, likely caused by a methane gas buildup, rocked La Precisoa underground coal mine early Wednesday. A similar blast killed 32 miners at the mine four years ago.

Relatives of miner Abel Ortega mourn over his coffin at their home in Sardinata, northeastern Colombia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. Ortega was among 21 miners killed when an explosion, likely caused by a methane gas buildup, rocked La Preciosa underground coal mine early Wednesday. A similar blast killed 32 miners at the mine four years ago.