On Wednesday, Indonesian officials said that more than 60 people got trapped into an illegal gold mine on the island of Sulawesi. The rescue team was trying to save the feared buried using ropes and spades after the collapse of the mine which had already killed three.
According to the rescuers, they could hear the voices of some of those trapped in the mine shafts in a muddy hillside in the Bolaang Mongondow area of North Sulawesi province. It is believed that many were still alive.
Abdul Muin Paputungan of Indonesia’s disaster agency told Reuters by phone that “We are able to detect that many of them are still alive because we can hear their voices, as there are some places where the air is getting in and out and there are gaps in the mud.”
On Wednesday, at 8 pm at least three bodies have been found and 15 people were rescued after the mine collapsed the previous evening, said the disaster mitigation agency and media reports.
In spite of banning such small-scale gold mining by the Indonesian government, the regional authorities often continue the practice in more remote areas. These mines are considered as accident prone.
Military officers and searching-and-rescue are carrying out the rescue process but using simple tools such as spades and rope because the condition is very risky and dangerous. Paputungan stated that the land is prone to sliding and shifting.
The family members of the victims are waiting on the site for news.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said dozens of people were mining for gold when beams and support boards broke suddenly.
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