At least 12 women killed in landslide at Indonesia gold mine
Twelve women working at an illegal gold mine in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province were killed when a cliff collapsed and triggered a landslide that buried them, police said.
Unlicensed mining is common throughout mineral-rich Indonesia, with abandoned sites attracting locals who search for the remains of gold ore without using proper safety equipment.
A collapsed cliff in the Mandailing Natal district of North Sumatra struck on Thursday afternoon, killing 12 women – aged between 30 and 55 – who were panning for gold at an abandoned illegal mine.
“The cliff around the mine collapsed and buried the 12 women, killing them all,” local police chief Marlon Rajagukguk told AFP on Thursday, adding that the victims were not minors. professionals.
Two other women working alongside them managed to survive the disaster and ran to the village to report the incident to the authorities.
It took rescuers hours to evacuate the bodies of the victims as they were in a two-meter-deep hole, which was filled with mud.
“Now all the bodies of the victims have been returned to their families,” Rajagukguk said.
Illegal gold mining is rampant in Mandailing Natal, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the provincial capital of Medan, and several sites are abandoned by operators.
Mining accidents are common throughout the archipelago due to landslides, especially during the summer monsoon months.
Last year, six miners died when an illegal gold mine collapsed in Parigi Moutong on the island of Sulawesi.
In 2020, 11 Sumatran miners were killed in a landslide triggered by heavy rains.
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