A landslide at a shuttered gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 16 people on Wednesday, the provincial governor said.
Dozens of people die in Congo every year because of old-fashioned and unregulated mining methods that compromise safety.
“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,” Auguy Musafiri, governor of Maniema province, told Reuters by telephone.
“What surprises us is that the activities continued in this mine, which had been closed by the provincial division of mines.”
More than 20 people were working on the gold seam at the time of the accident, suggesting more bodies may be found, said Stéphane Kamundala, a local activist.
At least 43 illegal miners died in June in a landslide at a copper and cobalt mine run by Glencore in southern Congo, highlighting the dangers run by informal miners, who burrow dozens of meters below ground with rudimentary tools.