Gold mine collapse in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
At least 50 people are believed to have died in the collapse of an artisanal gold mine near Kamituga in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a local mining NGO said.
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The collapse occurred around 3:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT) at the Detroit mine site after heavy rains on Friday, said Emiliane Itongwa, chair of the Women’s Social Assistance and Tracking Initiative.
“Several minors were in the covered pit and no one could get out. We are talking about 50 young people, ”Itongwa said.
Photos on social media showed hundreds of people gathered on a hill around the entrance to the mine shaft.
The mine was not on the Kamituga gold concession owned by Canadian miner Banro Corporation, the company’s chief executive said.
Mining accidents are common in unregulated artisanal mines in Congo. Every year dozens of people die in mines, where poorly equipped excavators often borrow in search of ore underground.
A landslide at a disused gold mine in October last year killed 16 people, while another landslide at a copper and cobalt mine in June 2019 killed 43 underground miners.