In yet another tragic incident, at least 30 people were killed and fifteen others injured after a gold mine collapsed in northeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, according to reports. The incident took place in the Kohistan district of Badakhshan province, Afghanistan this afternoon. Soon after the incident, a resue team was rushed to the spot. However, the villagers have already started removing the bosies at the site. Landslides are very frequent in the northern mountainous provinces of the war-torn country.
"30 people killed in a gold mine collapse in Afghanistan," the news agency ANI reported.
AFP: 30 people killed in a gold mine collapse in Afghanistan.— ANI (@ANI) January 6, 2019
According to reports, villagers had dug a 60-metre (200-feet) deep shaft in a river bed to hunt for gold and were caught in its collapse. Though Afghanistan has vast resources of minerals most of the mines are old and poorly maintained, resulting in serious safety issues.
Speaking to news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), Nik Mohammad Nazari, spokesman for the provincial governor said, "The villagers have been involved in this business for decades with no government control over them".
"We have sent a rescue team to the area, but villagers have already started removing bodies from the site," Nazari added.
Badakhshan is a remote, mountainous province in northeast Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. The impoverished region is prone to landslides, particularly in the colder months when heavy snow blankets the province.
Illegal mining is common in resource-rich Afghanistan, with the Taliban relying on the sector for much of its revenue. But most of the country's minerals remain untapped as the raging conflict and lack of regulation deter international miners from exploiting the huge reserves.
(With inputs from agencies)