6 die in DR Congo mine collapse

December 31, 2009 12:00 am

, LUBUMBASHI, Dec 31 – Six miners were killed and five others injured when a commercially abandoned mine collapsed in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the mayor of the local town said.

The collapse occured in a former copper mine of state company Gecamines, burying the clandestine miners.

"Six diggers have been killed and we count five injured, including one seriously," Charlotte Mabansime, the mayor of the mining town of Kolwezi, 300 kilometres (185 miles) northwest of provincial capital Lubumbashi.

"All the bodies have been recovered," she said, adding that "at least 15 diggers were in the pit."

Local authorities said Gecamines has not operated the mine for around 10 years as it was not considered financially viable, though it attracted illegal miners. Illegal mining operations are widely tolerated.


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