Mining activity is a major source of income for most low-class families in Africa. However, it is also a major cause of disasters, some of which lead to deaths.
Lates reports from gold mining areas in Congo indicate that at least 50 people have died after a gold mine collapsed in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Local authorities reported that the accident occurred on Friday at about 3pm in a subsidence of the soil.
The local authority further claims that the collapse of the mines was possibly caused by torrential rain rains that are currently being experienced in Kamituga, South Kivu province.
“Several miners were in the shaft which was covered and no one could get out,” said Emiliano Itongwa, president of the Initiative of Support and Social Supervision of Women, a local mining NGO.
Details from Provincial governor Theo Ngwabije Kasi confirmed the tragic deaths of 50 people. Most of the casualties from the incident were young people.
The local residents have been urged to help extract the bodies from the ground. A two- day mourning period has also been declared in the area.
Photos and videos from the incident show hundreds of people at the site.
“Kamituga is in mourning,” wrote one Dieudonne Bazika, who shot and posted a video on his Twitter account.
Reports also indicate that a river close to the mine had flooded after torrential rain with water going into the three tunnels, blocking the miners who tried to get out. Water from the river was flowing with high pressure. Information about mining put thousands informal miners who operate in and around mines in DRC, that produces more than half of the world’s cobalt, a key component in electric car batteries.
Last year alone a landslide at a disused gold mine killed 16 people in October, while 43 people died in another landslide at a copper and cobalt mine in June.
Mining accidents are common, with dozens of deaths every year in mines where often poorly -equipped diggers burrow deep underground in search of ore.
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