No fewer than 16 people have been reported killed in a landslide at a shuttered gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The incident was confirmed by the Governor of Maniema province Auguy Musafiri on Thursday morning.
“There was an accident at the Kampene mine, and for the moment we were able to get 16 bodies from the site of the landslide,” he said.
Musafiri expressed surprise at the continued activities of the mine which he said had been closed by the provincial division of mines.
According to Stéphane Kamundala, a local activist, over 20 people were working on the gold seam at the time of the accident, suggesting more bodies may be found.
Dozens of people die in Congo every year because of old-fashioned and unregulated mining methods that compromise safety.
In June, at least 43 illegal miners died in a landslide at a copper and cobalt mine run by Glencore in southern Congo.