18 dead after illegal Indonesian gold mine collapses

Police investigating owners of land, machinery after accident costs lives of 16 men, 2 women

18 dead after illegal Indonesian gold mine collapses

World Bulletin / News Desk

At least 18 people, including 16 men and two women, have lost their lives after an illegal mine collapsed in Indonesia’s Borneo island.

Bengkayang Regency police chief Vendra Riviyanto told local media Sunday that the fatal accident occurred at 1:00 p.m. the day before.

"Most people pan or search for their own gold in the soil by using hoes and then sifting it," he explained.

Eryk Subaryanto, chief of operations at the National Search and Rescue Agency, said the workers died since help came too late due to the mine’s remote location.

National army personnel were deployed to the scene after the accident, according to Lieutenant Colonel Robby Lukman Leksana.

While the bodies were recovered at around 19:30 p.m., the evacuation had been hampered by the difficulty of accessing the area via main roads.

Police chief Vendra said that information was being requested from the owner of the machinery at the site, while police also investigated the owner of the land where the mine is located.

Brigadier General Arief Sulistyanto, West Kalimantan province’s police chief, told that Anadolu Agency that it had become a habit among locals to respond to accidents prior to the arrival of police officers.

"We hope that people no longer engage in illegal mining since it is extremely dangerous," he said.

Monterado district, where this weekend’s accident occurred, is an area of Bengkayang with many gold reserves.

Last Mod: 05 Ekim 2014, 15:25
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