Indonesia: Dozens buried in gold mine collapse | News | DW | 27.02.2019
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Indonesia: Dozens buried in gold mine collapse

At least one person has died and dozens remain trapped after the collapse of an illegal gold mine on the island of Sulawesi. Rescuers are scrambling to find survivors in the rubble.

Rescuers are using spades and ropes to search for survivors after an illegal gold mine collapsed on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, trapping more than 60 people, according to authorities.

"When dozens of people were mining for gold at the location, suddenly beams and supporting boards they used broke due to unstable land and numerous mining shafts," disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Wednesday morning.

"Evacuation efforts continued through the night because of the number of people estimated to be buried," he added.

Rescuers said they could hear the voices of some of those trapped inside.

"We are able to detect that many of them are still alive because we can hear their voices, as there are some places where air is getting in and out and there are gaps in the mud," Abdul Muin Paputungan of Indonesia's disaster agency told the Reuters news agency.

Illegal mines prone to accidents

One person has been found dead and 13 were rescued by 5 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

The mine is located in the Bolaang Mongondow area of North Sulawesi province, about 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) northeast of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

Small-scale mining operations are banned in Indonesia, but regional authorities have not cracked down on the practice in remote rural areas. A lack of regulation has made these illegal mines more prone to accidents.

jcg/cmk (dpa, Reuters)

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