The Jakarta Post
Dozens of PT Freeport Indonesia employees were reportedly buried by a landslide during safety training at the Big Gossan underground site in Mimika regency, Papua, on Tuesday, at around 7:45 a.m. local time.
Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumertha Jaya said Freeport Indonesia's Emergency Response Group (ERG) and a local rescue team had been deployed.
As of Tuesday afternoon, rescuers had evacuated three survivors who were later taken to Tembaga Pura hospital.
'Rescuers found it difficult to reach the area where people were trapped,' said Sumertha in Jayapura on Tuesday.
He said that rescuers had yet to report the number of casualties in the incident as the evacuation process was still underway.
The landslide reportedly buried 28 people who were in a 5-by-11-meter classroom.
Sumertha said that two people managed to save themselves before rescuers arrived on the scene.
Freeport Indonesia corporate communications vice president Daisy Primyanti confirmed the incident in a written statement.
'We cannot confirm the exact number of the casualties. The evacuation process will take some time as it is difficult for rescuers to reach the hard-hit area,' she said in a press release.
The company has reported the incident to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Mining Inspector.
Freeport Indonesia, an Indonesian affiliate of US-based miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., operates the Grasberg mine in Papua, which has the largest gold reserves and the second-largest copper mine in the world.
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