SANTIAGO – Twelve people died in mining accidents during 2017, according to a study conducted by the National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin), which is the lowest figure in 18 years.
Revealing a 33% decrease in mining-related deaths as compared to 2016, the report also highlights that between 2011 and 2014 the death rate at the sites exceeded 20 people per year.
According to the analysis, the regions with the highest number of deaths due to mining accidents were Valparaíso and Atacama with three incidents each.
Antofagasta, meanwhile, recorded only two deaths , representing a significant decrease compared to the eight deaths it had in 2016.
The national head of the Department of Mining Safety and Inspection, Antonio Videka, indicated that the number of serious accidents also decreased by 9.6%; however, the number of accidents in general increased.
For its part, the Minister of Mining, Aurora Williams , valued the management of Sernageomin in the control of mining companies, and emphasized the role of companies and workers in reducing deaths.
Mario Periera, national director of Sernageomin, said the analysis focused on four causes of death for this year’s edition, detailing that they explain 75% of mining accidents.
Detachment of rocks, fall from height, machinery accidents and entrapment were the four most common causes of death in 2017, the first two being the main ones, with 7 deaths in total.