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27 miners die in gold mine collapse in Congo

Christian Fernsby |
At least 27 artisan miners were killed when a gold mine collapsed in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities said Sunday.

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Topics: MINE    COLLAPSE    CONGO   

Friday’s accident occurred at the Ndiyo gold quarry, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Watsa, the main town in the Watsa territory of Upper-Uele province, according to Dieudonné Apasa, mining minister of Haut-Uele province.

The minister attributed the accident to a landslide triggered by ongoing heavy rains.

“Initially, we thought non-compliance with the legal depths as well as prohibited practices of entering the tunnels was responsible for the accident. But available information indicates it was simply a landslide. They [miners] were less than 20 meters deep, while the legal limit is set at 30 meters. So the main cause is the heavy rains we have received in recent times," Apasa was quoted as saying by the website.

The bodies of the victims were removed at a depth of 12 meters in the quarry and transported to various areas, including Watsa, Durba, Moku and Ngangazo, he said.

Local authorities indicated the death toll was based on a provisional assessment.

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