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2/15/2007

6 found dead in underground tunnel on Spanish island

Earth News: Spain
Feb 12, 2007
Toxic gas is suspected of killing at least six people who died while exploring man-made tunnels in Spain's Canary Islands. A group of about 30 scientists and adventurers were roughly 1.5 kilometres underground on Saturday when they apparently were overcome by the gases. Six people were pulled from the tunnel dead, and six others were taken to hospital by helicopter. Rescue efforts were made difficult because of the gases and cramped conditions underground. Officials said they believed members of the group fell unconscious when they were deprived of oxygen, but they didn't identify what kind of gases may have been involved. Among the group were scientists from the Canary Island Astrophysics Institute and members of the Tenerife Friends of Nature Association. The tunnels were built to prospect for water in the community of Los Silos on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. [Coincidently, there was the 6.0 quake that occurred on Tuesday in the Atlantic off the coast of Spain & Portugal. I wonder if there could be any connection - could a pending nearby quake have had an effect on the release of the gases?
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