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50 killed in a collapsed gold mine in east Congo

By Ritika Nath

Approximately 50 people might have died when an artisanal, non-industrial gold mine got collapsed near Kamituga in the eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday afternoon, as stated by a local mining NGO.

The breakdown occurred on the ‘Detroit’ mine site at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon (1300 GMT) followed with massive rains, as said by the president of the Initiative of Support and Social Supervision of Women, Emiliane Itongwa.

Emiliane also said in a report that, “Several miners were in the shaft which was covered and no one could get out. We are talking about 50 young people.”

Pictures and videos were uploaded in the social networking sites showing hundreds of people, some of whom could be heard howling on a hillside around the entrance of the mine shaft.

The gold mine which was owned by the Canadian miner Banro Corporation was not located on the Kamituga gold permit and it was not authorised as well, said by the company’s chief executive.

Mining accidents are usual in Congo’s artisanal mines which are mostly unauthorised and do not take place under proper supervision. Every year dozens of people die due to mine cave-in where ill-equipped diggers burrow deep underground in search for qualitative ores and minerals.

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