An artisanal gold mine collapse near Kamituga in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has claimed lives of more than 50 people.

The incident took place on 11 September in the Sud-Kivu Province in DRC at the “Detroit” mine site, reported Reuters citing a local mining NGO.

Initiative of Support and Social Supervision of Women president Emiliane Itongwa was quoted by the news agency as stating: “Several miners were in the shaft which was covered and no one could get out. We are talking about 50 young people.”

Following the collapse of the gold mine, informal miners at the site have been searching for their missing colleagues.

Kamituga deputy mayor Alexandre Kamundala said that no bodies have been recovered yet.

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By GlobalData

Kamundala added: “The rescue teams have been working hard since this morning to try to find bodies, but given the lack of working tools, they are finding it difficult to move forward efficiently with the search.”

In Congo, dozens of people lose lives every year in largely unregulated artisanal mines, where “ill-equipped diggers” often dig deep underground for ore.

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Sud-Kivu Province Governor Theo KASI as saying: “24 hours after the tragedy that caused several deaths following the collapse of a mining shaft in Kamituga, we have just sent a delegation to provide urgent assistance and have ordered an investigation to establish responsibilities.”

In July, a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar claimed lives of more than 160 people.

A series of tunnel collapses in February killed At least 11 illegal miners in northern Mozambique’s Montepuez ruby mine

In October last year, collapse of a dam at a gold mine in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, left at least 15 miners dead.