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At least 50 killed in Congo mine collapse

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At least 50 individuals are thought to have died when artisanal gold mine collapsed close to Kamituga in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The collapse happened on the “Detroit” mine site on Friday evening (local time) following weighty downpours, said Emiliane Itongwa, president of the Initiative of Support and Social Supervision of Women.

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

Photographs and recordings via social media indicated several individuals, some of whom could be heard crying on a hillside around the mine passageway.

The mine was not situated on the Kamituga gold concession possessed by Canadian miner Banro Corporation, the company’s CEO said.

Mining mishaps are normal in unregulated artisanal mines in Congo, with many deaths consistently in mines where regularly unprepared diggers borrow deep underground in look for ore.

A landslide at a disused gold mine killed 16 in October last year, while 43 unlawful miners died in another landslide at a copper and cobalt mine in June 2019.

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