Illegal gold mine collapse in Indonesia kills 18 miners

5 October 2014 (Last Updated October 5th, 2014 18:30)

At least 18 workers have died in the collapse of an illegal gold mine in the West Kalimantan province of Indonesia.

At least 18 workers have died in the collapse of an illegal gold mine in the West Kalimantan province of Indonesia.

According to West Kalimantan rescue headquarters officer Leonardus Sabar Umbara, the collapse occurred in West Borneo on Saturday morning, but was not noticed until later in the evening.

Umbara told AFP: "We conducted a search operation last night, but we have stopped the operation now as we have found all of the bodies reported to be missing."

"Local people are reluctant to report incidents like this as many of them are engaged in illegal mining." 

Among the deceased are 16 male workers and two female workers; however, officials could only identify 15 of the miners.

Locals had no idea how many people were trapped inside the mine when it collapsed but the local Metro TV stated that around 500 workers were known to be at the site on Saturday.

Umbara was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Local people are reluctant to report incidents like this as many of them are engaged in illegal mining."

Due to rise in the price of gold, illegal mining activities have increased in the country with many deaths reported recently.

In July, a landslide at an illegal gold mine in the Papua province claimed the lives of nine miners. A tunnel collapse in a training room at Big Gossan underground mine in Papua on 14 May 2013 killed 21 of the 38 mine workers at the site.

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