KINSHASA, Congo – A landslide at a gold mine in a remote corner of northeast Congo has left at least 60 people dead, a local administrator said Thursday.
Faustin Drakana Kananga told The Associated Press that the accident took place Monday in Pangoyi, but rescue efforts have been hampered because the dense jungle area is controlled by members of a militia.
The miners were in an area about 100 meters (yards) below the surface at the time of the landslide, he said.
Congo, a vast nation in central Africa, is mired in poverty. The nation has been scarred by decades of dictatorship and war. Many Congolese try to eke out a living through small-scale mining, a dangerous and unregulated practice.
Accidents are common in open-pit mines, where there are few if any safety precautions. Hundreds of thousands of people work in unsafe conditions, some of them forced to mine by some of the armed groups and government soldiers who illegally profit from Congo's massive mineral resources.