Last of 4 Ecuador miners dead

2010-10-21 10:59

Quito - Rescuers on Wednesday found the body of the fourth and final miner missing following a cave-in at a gold mine in southern Ecuador.

The grim news and grieving relatives contrasted last week's euphoric celebration in Chile of the rescue of 33 miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days.

The four miners in Ecuador were trapped last Friday when a tunnel collapsed 150m underground at the Casa Negra mine near Portovelo, 400km southwest of Quito.

Rescuers began a frantic search for the men, but two of their corpses were found the following day.

Until Wednesday afternoon, authorities had expressed hope of finding the two remaining miners alive.

But in the evening rescuer Georgi Ramirez told Ecuavisa television that workers had found the body of the third miner. Authorities then announced the discovery of the fourth and final body.

President Rafael Correa visited the mine and said "all that was humanly possible" had been done to rescue the trapped miners.

The Ecuadorean mine is run by local company Minesadco.