60 Dead in Mine Collapse in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Government officials in the DRC say 60 miners have been killed as a mine collapsed in a remote northeast part of the country.
Authorities say the miners were digging for gold about 330 feet deep on Monday when the shaft collapsed. The site is located in Mambasa territory in Orientale Province. According to reports, the collapse was caused by a landslide.
Local officials say the area of the mine collapse is deep in the jungle in an area that is controlled by a local rebel group, the Mai Mai Morgan and that has been complicating rescue efforts.
Martin Kabwelulu the Minister of Mines for that country said that the miners were working in a mine much deeper than the legal limit for small-scale mining. The limit for that type of mine is 96 feet.
Thousands of people in the impoverished country try to make a living doing small-scale mining. Safety procedures are virtually non existent in such non-industrial mines and accidents are common.
The collapsed mine was likely used by the rebels holding the area and the proceeds of the mine, "conflict minerals" likely funded their activities.