Seven Die in DR Congo Goldmine Collapse

Seven miners have died and five are missing after a makeshift goldmine collapsed in eastern DR Congo’s South Kivu province after heavy rain, local sources said Wednesday.

Representative of the Local NGO, Cyrille Lualuba Bendera said the accident occurred Monday near Shabunda, according to him, the torrential rains sparked the collapse, “taking the artisanal diggers by surprise while they were hard at work in a shaft at least six metres (20 feet) deep.”

He disclosed that only one was found alive out of 13 people who were in the shaft, but was “seriously injured” and taken to hospital, he said.

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The seven dead miners were buried on Monday at the site, while a search for the five missings was underway, he added.

South Kivu authorities said they were aware of the accident but declined to comment.

Artisanal miners in the vast central African country often work in difficult conditions, ignoring safety norms.

They sell gold or copper to brokers who sell the metals to large foreign businesses.

Accidents are common and often quite deadly, but go largely unreported because of the remote areas where the activity takes place.

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