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18 Illegal miners in Bengkayang, West Kalimantan died after trapped underground

JAKARTA (Rambu Energy) – As many as 18 illegal gold miners in Goa Boma village, Monterado subdistrict, Bengkayang Regency in West Kalimantan province died on Sunday (Oct 5) after being trapped underground.

Kompas daily reported the mining underground collapsed at around 11.00 am on Saturday. The workers were about 20 meters below land surface.

“It is possible that the hole is too deep, hence its roof collapsed. The miners can’t find way out. There were tens of miners inside the hole, when the accident happen,” the paper cited a witness, Roni.

Villagers in Monterado rely on illegal mining activities for living, however they often ignore their own safety as they use traditional equipments. The hole is usually just too narrow.

The head of Bengkayang police Vendra Riviyanto said that the police is still investigating the cause of the collapse.

Nikodemus of Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Walhi) West Kalimantan, an environmental group, called on the Bengkayang Regency government to immediately close down the mining site as the miners mine the area without permit. Apart from damaging the environment, the miners also put themselves at risk. (*)

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