Monday 14 October 2019

More bodies recovered from mine

Rescuers recovered four more bodies from a collapsed underground room at a mine in Indonesia, bringing the confirmed death total to 15 (AP)
Rescuers recovered four more bodies from a collapsed underground room at a mine in Indonesia, bringing the confirmed death total to 15 (AP)

Rescuers recovered four more bodies from a collapsed underground room at a gold and copper mine in Indonesia, bringing the confirmed death total to 15.

Fifteen other workers were still missing and feared dead at the US-owned Grasberg mine in the easternmost province of Papua.

The Big Gossan underground training facility at the PT Freeport Indonesia mine collapsed last Tuesday when 38 workers were undergoing safety training. Ten injured miners were rescued.

Mining operations have been suspended since the accident to pay respects to the victims and to concentrate on the rescue effort. The company said the accident was expected to have no significant impact on its operations.

Papua police spokesman Lt Col Gede Sumerta Jaya said four more bodies were found early today buried under rocks and dirt, including one woman.

He said: "There is no possibility of life five days after the cave-in...this is really a heartbreaking accident."

The company said in a statement that rescuers were trying to recover six more bodies seen in the rubble but the process was being slowed by the need to stabilise the ground and roof because of falling rocks.

It said Richard Adkerson, president and chief executive of its parent company, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, arrived at the scene on Saturday and visited the injured workers and the families of those still buried at the accident site.

Around 1,000 workers were still blocking a main road about two miles away in solidarity with the victims, and to seek a guarantee of worker safety underground.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered Freeport and government agencies to thoroughly investigate the accident.

PA Media

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