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Rescuers say chances of finding more survivors declining at collapsed Indonesian mine tunnel

  • In this photo taken and released by PT Freeport Indonesia  Friday, May 17, 2013, the Indonesian unit of Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, rescuers gather inside a tunnel that collapsed on Tuesday morning as they continue their attempt to rescue trapped workers at Big Gossan mining area in Mimika, Papua province, Indonesia. Mining activities at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia are halted for four consecutive days as rescuers manually dig through a caved-in mine tunnel looking for about 23 trapped workers, the mine operator said. (AP Photo/PT Freeport Indonesia) NO ARCHIVE, NO SALES

    In this photo taken and released by PT Freeport Indonesia Friday, May 17, 2013, the Indonesian unit of Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, rescuers gather inside a tunnel that collapsed on Tuesday morning as they continue their attempt to rescue trapped workers at Big Gossan mining area in Mimika, Papua province, Indonesia. Mining activities at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia are halted for four consecutive days as rescuers manually dig through a caved-in mine tunnel looking for about 23 trapped workers, the mine operator said. (AP Photo/PT Freeport Indonesia) NO ARCHIVE, NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken and released by PT Freeport Indonesia, Friday, May 17, 2013, the Indonesian unit of Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, rescuers gather inside a tunnel that collapsed on Tuesday morning as they continue their attempt to rescue trapped workers at Big Gossan mining area in Mimika, Papua province, Indonesia. Mining activities at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia are halted for four consecutive days as rescuers manually dig through a caved-in mine tunnel looking for about 23 trapped workers, the mine operator said. (AP Photo/PT Freeport Indonesia) NO ARCHIVE, NO SALES -----

    In this photo taken and released by PT Freeport Indonesia, Friday, May 17, 2013, the Indonesian unit of Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, rescuers gather inside a tunnel that collapsed on Tuesday morning as they continue their attempt to rescue trapped workers at Big Gossan mining area in Mimika, Papua province, Indonesia. Mining activities at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia are halted for four consecutive days as rescuers manually dig through a caved-in mine tunnel looking for about 23 trapped workers, the mine operator said. (AP Photo/PT Freeport Indonesia) NO ARCHIVE, NO SALES -----  (The Associated Press)

Rescue officials say falling rocks are hampering their progress in reaching 23 trapped workers at a U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia, and chances of finding any more survivors are declining.

The head of the emergency response team at PT Freeport Indonesia, Nurhadi Sabirin, said Saturday that rescuers have not detected any signs of life in several days.

A tunnel collapsed last Tuesday when 38 workers were undergoing training inside an underground classroom. Ten miners were rescued and five bodies were recovered.

Sabirin said "as more time passes, the possibility of there being any survivors becomes less likely."

More than 20,000 workers are employed at the mine in Papua province owned by Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.