60 die in DRC after mine collapse

60 die in DRC after mine collapse
# 17 August 2012 03:28 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. At least 60 miners have been killed after a shaft collapsed in a goldmine in a remote corner of northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, officials say, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The accident happened on Monday when miners were digging for gold about 100 meters (109 yards) underground in the Mambasa territory of the Orientale province, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Rescue efforts have been hampered because the area where the mine is situated is currently controlled by members of a local militia -- known as Mai Mai Morgan.

Martin Kabwelulu, the DRC’s minister of mines, said the workers were operating illegally there and that their shafts were deeper than the 30-meter-long (32-yard-long) limit required by the mining code for small-scale mining.

Such mining accidents are common in the DRC where many Congolese try to make a living through small-scale mining under unsafe conditions.

Armed groups across the east use the profits from the country’s enormous mineral resources to help fund their activities.

The DRC, a vast country in Central Africa, has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on for over a decade and left over 5.5 million people dead.
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