At least 50 people have been killed after a gold mine collapsed in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, local authorities said Saturday.
The accident occurred on Friday in the town of Kamituga in South Kivu province, following days of heavy rain, with the cause of the landslide currently under investigation.
Provincial Governor Theo Ngwabidje Kasi confirmed in a statement on Saturday morning that the majority of the victims are young people, including children. Rescuers are continuing to identify the dead and provide assistance.
Local media quoted a survivor as saying that more than 50 people had been in the three shafts, which water had poured in to.
Kamituga Mayor Alexandre Bundya decreed a two-day mourning period and called on local residents to help rescuers extract bodies from the ground.
The South Kivu province has recorded landslides every year due to artisanal mining activities in several communities.
Congolese artisanal gold miners sit outside a mine-pit near Kamituga in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, September 13, 2020. REUTERS