JAKARTA, INDONESIA (AP) – An illegal gold mine in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island collapsed on nearly two dozen people working inside, killing six and leaving another worker missing, officials said yesterday.
Survivors estimated about 22 people were trapped in the rubble when the mine in Central Sulawesi province’s Parigi Moutong district collapsed late Wednesday due to unstable soil, said Andrias Hendrik Johannes, who heads the local search and rescue agency.
Rescuers were able to pull 15 people from the debris and recover the bodies of three women during a gruelling search effort until yesterday morning, he said.
Three more bodies of two men and a woman were found in the afternoon.
Police, emergency personnel, soldiers and volunteers were trying to locate one worker.
Their efforts were hampered by the remote location of the mine and the unstable soil that risked further slides.
Video showed rescuers struggling to bring out a body bag from an inundated ravine.
Illegal or informal mining operations are commonplace in Indonesia, providing a tenuous livelihood to those who labour in conditions with a high risk of serious injury or death.