Last bodies recovered after Colombia mine tragedy that killed 15

Forensic personnel and rescue workers carry the corpse of one of the fifteen miners who were trapped by the collapse of a gold mine, near the area of El Saibo, in Riosucio, Caldas department, Colombia, on May 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Forensic personnel and rescue workers carry the corpse of one of the fifteen miners who were trapped by the collapse of a gold mine, near the area of El Saibo, in Riosucio, Caldas department, Colombia, on May 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 

BOGOTA (AFP) - Emergency workers have recovered the final bodies of people killed in a collapsed, unlicensed gold mine on an indigenous reservation in central Colombia, bringing the official toll to 15 dead, authorities said Monday.

"After 12 days of working around the clock... the bodies of the 15 miners who were trapped in the El Tunel gold mine when it was suddenly flooded... have now been recovered," said a statement from government disaster relief agency UNGRD, after the final two were brought out Monday.

The May 13 accident - inside a reservation for indigenous Colombians in Caldas department - rocked the central-western town of Riosucio.

Investigators say a power cut in the area likely shut off the mine's water pumps, flooding the shafts and leading to the collapse.

The workers at the mine had no formal contract with the company for their high-risk work, according to the National Mining Agency.

Colombia is a major gold producer and business has boomed over the past decade as the price of gold has risen from less than $400 per ounce to almost $1,200.