At least 50 dead in gold mine collapse in Congo

At least 50 people were killed in the collapse of a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, according to a local NGO.

The accident took place Friday afternoon in the so-called ‘Detroit’ mine near Kamituga in the east of the African country, says Emiliane Itongwa, chairman of a non-governmental organization.

The mine is believed to have collapsed due to heavy rainfall. At least 50 people would have been in the mine shaft at that time. Until now, no one has been rescued, and no bodies have been recovered. Hundreds of people are waiting at the mine for reports about the fate of the victims.

The mine was not run by a mining company but was dug by private gold miners, says an employee of the Canadian mining company Banro, which operates elsewhere in the region.

Accidents in unregulated or abandoned gold mines kill dozens of lives in the region every year. For example, 43 and 16 people were killed in two accidents last year. Those accidents were also caused by heavy rainfall and landslides.

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