Villagers are trying to evacuate the victims from about 20 metres underground at an unlicensed coal mine, Sumatra. AFP
A landslide sparked by heavy rains has killed 11 miners in Indonesia, authorities said on Thursday, marking the latest in a string of deadly mining accidents across the Southeast Asian archipelago.
The victims were about 20 metres (65 feet) underground at an unlicensed coal mine near a village in South Sumatra province when the accident happened on Wednesday.
“The ground wasn't firm because heavy rains have hit the area recently,” said Ansori, an official with the local disaster mitigation agency, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
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“It was also a traditional mining site so safety regulations were generally ignored,” he added.
The bodies of all the victims have been recovered, Ansori said.
Unlicensed mines are common across mineral-rich Indonesia and the scene of frequent accidents.
Earlier this year, nine people were killed by a landslide at an abandoned gold mine in West Sumatra province.
Last year, at least 16 people were buried alive when a mine collapsed in North Sulawesi, where five miners were killed a few months earlier in a similar accident.
The landslide was caused by torrential rains and it has forced hundreds to leave their homes due to damages.
Officials said the exact death toll was unclear, but two bodies had so far been recovered and up to 15 were feared dead.
Torrential rains triggered a landslide on Monday, inundating the mine with mud mixed with stones and debris in South Solok regency, West Sumatra, said the local emergency department head Fikri, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
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