11 Indonesia illegal miners feared dead in gold mine accident

2016-10-26 15:03
Anxious community members wait at the entrance of the Langlaagte mine shaft. (Iavan Pijoos, News24, file)

Anxious community members wait at the entrance of the Langlaagte mine shaft. (Iavan Pijoos, News24, file)

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Jakarta - Eleven Indonesian men are feared dead after water and mud engulfed an illegal gold mine, an official said on Wednesday - the latest deadly accident to hit the illicit industry.

The men were in a narrow, 50m deep shaft on Sumatra island on Monday when heavy rain sent water and earth surging into the mine.

Rescuers have headed to the remote site in Jambi province to hunt for the miners, who were aged between 21 and 55 and had been working in a pit they dug themselves, said police spokesperson Kuswahyudi Tresnadi.

READ: ‘Send in the zama-zamas’

He said none were believed to have survived.

Illegal gold mining has boomed in Indonesia in recent years as the price of the precious metal has surged, and deaths are common.

Twelve people were killed in October 2015 when a shaft collapsed on them after they tunnelled into a disused mine on Java island in the hope of finding gold.

Heavy downpours during Indonesia's months-long rainy season regularly cause landslides, which often bury villages and cause fatalities.

Read more on:    indonesia

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