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Last 2 missing Ecuadorean miners found dead

Rescue workers found the last two corpses on Wednesday of four Ecuadorean miners killed by a cave-in at a remote gold mine six days ago.
Image:
The father of late miner Pedro Mendoza, center, reacts after hearing confirmation of his son's death in Portovelo, Ecuador, Wednesday.Dolores Ochoa / AP
/ Source: Reuters

Rescue workers found the last two corpses on Wednesday of four Ecuadorean miners killed by a cave-in at a remote gold mine six days ago.

Gloom among rescuers and relatives at the mine in Ecuador contrasted with last week's jubilation in Chile, where 33 workers were rescued after more than two months underground.

Two of the Ecuadorean miners were found dead on Saturday at the mine in Portovelo, near the border with Peru, where a tunnel collapsed 500 feet underground on Friday.

Despite hopes the remaining pair could be alive, they were both found dead late on Wednesday, mining officials said.

"We've done everything humanly possible," Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said at the site.

Some 150 rescue workers had been searching the "Black House" mine run by Minesadco, a local company.

In Chile, the 33 miners survived for two weeks on limited rations until rescuers made contact. Their rescue, watched live on TV, triggered euphoria around the world.

It also put a spotlight on mining safety in Latin America, where there are still many accidents, although standards have improved dramatically in recent decades compared to the nightmarish conditions of past centuries.

One of the worst accidents in recent times took place in Colombia in June, when more than 70 miners died after a gas explosion at a coal mine.