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  • Rescue teams carry a survivor during an evacuation process following a landslide at an unlicensed goldmine in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Rescue teams carry a survivor during an evacuation process following a landslide at an unlicensed goldmine in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 February 2019

Rescuers are searching for approximately 60 people who remain buried by the landslide. 

An unlicensed goldmine in Indonesia collapsed Wednesday, leaving one person dead and 14 injured. The mine is located in Indonesia's Sulawesi Province, on the island of Sulawesi. Rescuers are searching for approximately 60 people who remain buried by the landslide. 

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The landslide was a result of supporting beams crumbling "due to unstable land and numerous mining shafts." These accidents are rather frequent in the country, as a result of inadequate regulations and construction.

While small-scale mining is banned, it is common in rural areas. Many people are pressured into illegal mining in a country experiencing a lack of employment opportunities.

Rescue teams made up of local police, search and rescue agency workers, military and the Indonesian Red Cross, are working through the night to transport survivors off the premises. The location of the accident has complicated rescue efforts, since vehicles, such as heavy equipment and ambulances, are unable to reach the location. 

“Unstable soil conditions make us extra careful lifting rocks because it can lead to new landslides. We still hear voices crying for help from people beneath the rubble,” local disaster official Abdul Muin Paputungan pointed out. Rescue teams used their bare hands and farm tools to make it to the buried survivors. 

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