60 dead after landslide at Congo gold mine

The Montreal Gazette reported this morning that a landslide at a gold mine in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo has left 60 people dead.

In speaking to the Guardian, UN-based Radio Okapi said that the mine shaft collapsed Monday after ". . . illegal miners rushed to be the first in the bottom of the pit but the sides collapsed, burying them all."

Rescue efforts have been impeded as the area is encased in a dense jungle reported to be controlled by local militia.

Illegal mining is a common problem within poor regions of the DR Congo as men and women put themselves in danger in an attempt to eke out a living.

Recently Harmony Gold began enforcing a ban that prohibits any food being brought underground.

The drastic step, as reported by Reuters, is to "cut supply lines to gangs of illegal miners used to staying deep in the mines for months on end, threatening lives and official production."

The collapsed mine had been abandoned after clashes between the area's militia and the Congolese army made the area uninhabitable.