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Five Gold Miners Dead in South Aceh


Banda Aceh, TAG. Five gold miners were killed and one injured when their mine collapsed on the slopes of Mt. Paton Luas in Sawang, South Aceh, rescuers said on Tuesday.


Indonesian Red Cross volunteer Jep Hendrian said most of the miners had been taking a break at the small mine when the collapse occurred at 2:20 p.m. on Monday. 


Local residents rushed to the site to help dig out those trapped up to 30 meters underground. 


Red Cross volunteers and members of the South Aceh Search and Rescue team, based in the district capital, Tapak Tuan, 25 kilometers away, later took over the rescue effort. 


An hour into the effort, rescuers recovered the body of Episalami, 18. At 8 p.m., rescuers heard cries for help and soon after pulled out Khairunnas, 25. 


“He had a broken leg and cuts and bruises but he was alive,” Jep said. “He was evacuated to Tapak Tuan for treatment. “It was a miracle that we managed to find him alive, seeing that he had been buried for six hours.” 


Rescuers had recovered two more bodies by early Tuesday, identified as Karnadi, 25, and Syarkawi, 40. In the afternoon, rescuers using an excavator dug up two more bodies. 


Jep said the potential for such cave-ins was huge, given that most small-scale miners working on the mountain’s slopes did not reinforce their tunnels. 


“They only dig them 40 centimeters to a meter wide, and up to 30 meters deep, so they’re quite dangerous,” he said. 


Small-scale gold mining in the area began a year ago, and is concentrated mainly in South Aceh, Krueng Sabe and Lamno in Aceh Jaya district, and Geumpang in Pidie district. 


There are no rules governing their operation.[]
Five Gold Miners Dead in South Aceh Five Gold Miners Dead in South Aceh Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on May 18, 2010 Rating: 5

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