According to a local NGO, a makeshift gold mine, located near the town of Kamituga in South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, collapsed roughly at 15h00 on Friday after heavy rains, killing at least 50 people.
A local governor blamed “soil subsidence caused by torrential rain” for the accident and said “the exact number of victims” was not yet known. Emiliane Itongwa, president of the Initiative of Support and Social Supervision of Women, said “Several miners were in the shaft which was covered and no one could get out.”
The DRC is rich in natural resources and the accidents in artisanal gold mines are common in the area due primarily to poor safety standards and extremely dangerous work conditions, a local newspaper reported.
A year ago, in October, 21 miners died in a collapse at an illegal gold mine in the eastern town of Kampene. In June 2019, 43 clandestine miners died when a copper and cobalt mine in Lualaba province collapsed.