About 40 people remain trapped in Liberian gold mine

Liberian authorities say rescuers are digging with their bare hands in an effort to free about 40 people who have been trapped for a week in a collapsed gold mine.

Archievego M. Doe, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, said Sunday that officials are now trying to arrange for an excavator to help the rescue effort in northeastern Liberia.

So far seven bodies have been recovered and Monday has been declared a national day of mourning.

The government deployed army and police to the Gbonipea mining town over the weekend, where they met with resistance from some local miners. Officials said about 65 illegal gold miners were arrested for battling the deployment.

Red Cross officials are also in the area trying to determine how many people remain trapped.