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At least 5 killed, over dozen buried in mine collapse in western Indonesia

Christian Fernsby |
At least five miners were killed and over a dozen others were buried after a traditional gold mine collapsed in Indonesia's western West Java province, a disaster agency official said on Monday.

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Rescuers have pulled out five bodies from the mine and are trying to retrieve others who are believed to be buried in the mine in Mt. Pongkor in Bantar village of Bogor district, said spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

According to the survivors, about 15 miners are believed to be buried, the spokesman told Xinhua in a text message.

Rains were blamed for the collapse in the area with unstable soil structure, said Sutopo.

Rescue operation was hampered by complicated geographical conditions as the mine collapse took place at a steep part of the mountain flank, making it difficult to reach, he said.

As a result, the evacuation could only be undertaken without using heavy machinery equipment, he added.

For now, the spokesman said, the rescue operation is suspended as night fell, and it will resume on Tuesday.

Indonesia is home to many traditional gold mines, which are mostly in small scale and situated in remote areas. Accidents often take place due to lack of safety standards.

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