Indonesia estimates up to 100 still trapped in mine

VNA
 Indonesian authorities said on March 4 that up to 100 people could still be trapped inside an unlicensed gold mine on Sulawesi island, which collapsed one week ago.

Rescuers carry victims who was trapped in the makeshift gold mine (Photo: AFP)

Rescuers carry victims who was trapped in the makeshift gold mine (Photo: AFP)

Those trapped may be unable to survive, despite rescue efforts that have so far saved 19 people but also seen nine deaths.

National disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the exact number of miners at the time of the accident was still unknown as rescued survivors had given varied totals.

According to the official, the reported tallies vary from 30 up to 100 people as there were many left in the main pit, plus an unknown number in the smaller ones.

Search teams at the scene have been hampered by the steep terrain, unstable soil, and dangerously narrow mining shafts.

The mine’s beams and support boards broke suddenly due to the unstable land conditions, resulting in the incident in the Bolaang Mongondow region of North Sulawesi on February 26. A similar illegal gold mine accident occurred at the same location in December last year, killing five miners.

Mining accidents often occur in Indonesia due to illegal and unregulated activities. Previously, in 2015 and 2016, two cases in Jambi province and Java island claimed 23 lives.

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