Around 60 illegal gold miners were buried by landslides in the gold mining area in Bakan Village, Bolaang Mongondow Regency, North Sulawesi on Tuesday (02/26) night - Photo by National DIsaster Management Agency

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Around 60 illegal gold miners were buried by landslides in the gold mining area in Bakan Village, Bolaang Mongondow Regency, North Sulawesi on Tuesday (02/26) night.

According to data from the National Disaster Management Agency, until Wednesday afternoon, it was reported that three peoples died, 17 people were successfully evacuated, 13 victims of minor and severe injuries. An estimated 60 people are still buried in landslide and rock material at the mine area.

According to the agency’ spokesman Sutopo Nugroho, landslides in the mine area were allegedly caused by unstable soil conditions and the large number of mine excavations. At that time, it was estimated that dozens of community miners were in the hole to pick up gold-processed material, because many people were taking gold-processed material by digging it using a crowbar. So that the wall of the mine pit collapsed and hit the residents inside the hole.

After a landslide occurred and the fellow miners, who at the time of the incident were outside the hole, directly contacted other residents and some of them took turns evacuating using makeshift tools.

The evacuation process for buried miners continued from Tuesday night to Wednesday. Until now, the local government continues to coordinate with other stakeholders, the army, police, and the local community to evacuate victims buried in landslide material.

Many cracked rocks that have the potential to be prone to landslides are a problem. Evacuation is done manually without heavy equipment.

Reportedly, since 2018, the location has been used by local residents to illegally extract gold processed material. The mine location is quite close to the concession area managed by PT J Resources Bolaang Mongondow.

The area is indeed a hunt for people looking for gold by digging deep holes. In August 2018 the police officially declared that the gold mine area was closed. The closure follows six miners who were killed by material buried on June 3. 2018.

But afterwards, this mining business was even more massive and seemed protected. Indeed, local police officers go down to illegal mining locations and provide police lines. Unfortunately, this action does not provide a deterrent effect. Because mining activities are actually increasingly mushrooming.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com

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