Officials said the exact death toll was unclear, but two bodies had so far been recovered and up to 15 were feared dead. File/AP
Up to 15 people were feared dead after a landslide struck a mining camp in central Papua New Guinea following heavy rain, officials said on Wednesday.
Local MP William Samb said the camp in Goilala was buried as miners slept early on Monday.
“Unfortunately there are no survivors from what we hear,” Samb told ABC, Australia's national broadcaster.
“Sadly they were all buried alive.”
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Officials said the exact death toll was unclear, but two bodies had so far been recovered and up to 15 were feared dead.
The group was panning a riverbed for gold.
Heavy rain and a lack of equipment had hampered local rescuers attempting to dig through the mud.
Better tools and supplies were being flown in to help the recovery effort, with the Governor of the Central Province, Robert Agarobe, expected to arrive on Thursday to help assess the damage.
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.
Tens of thousands protested across Papua — on the western half of New Guinea island — as anger over racism and fresh calls for self-rule fuelled mass demonstrations and violent clashes with security forces.
More than a dozen workers remained missing on Friday after a landslide in southwest China buried a section of railway that was under repair, according to state media.
Somare died on Feb.26, aged 84, just weeks after he was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. He served as leader four times and was the country’s first prime minister after Papua New Guinea (PNG) gained independence from Australia in 1975.
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