Rescue efforts continued, on Thursday, for six artisanal miners reported missing after a quartzite mine collapsed in southern Rwanda, a local official said.
The accident occurred in the Kinazi sector of Huye District on Wednesday evening, according to Annonciata Kankesha, the district’s Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs.
“The victims were operating in an underground tunnel at an illegal mining site.
“After learning about the incident, rescue teams launched efforts to rescue the victims,” Kankesha told reporters.
She attributed the cause of the tragedy to flooding.
Local residents estimated the tunnel to be between 60 and 80 meters deep.
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Illegal mining activities have been going on at the mine for the past four years.
Families of the victims appealed to the government to “ensure proper safety mechanisms for those doing mining activities”.
The mining sector is the second largest revenue earner in the country.
The sector is undergoing a transition from artisanal to semi-mechanised mining, according to the regulatory body, the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.
Accidents are often reported at artisanal mining sites, where miners work discreetly to avoid inspection from authorities. (Xinhua)
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