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Jakarta Post

Landslide kills five diamond miners in South Kalimantan

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 9, 2019   /   05:42 pm
Landslide kills five diamond miners in South Kalimantan Local officials visit Pumpung diamond mine in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan, on Jan. 21. (Via banjarmasinpost.co.id/Polsek Cempaka )

A joint search and rescue team has rescued two miners and recovered five dead bodies after a landslide hit an artisanal diamond mine in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the incident happened on Monday afternoon in Sei Pumpung village. The landslide was caused by unstable soil conditions mixed with sand and gravel, due to heavy rain that has been pouring down since Monday morning.

When the landslide hit, seven miners were working at the site, with two being in the upper section of the mine and the remainder in the lower section.

“The two survivors, identified as Ardi and Ipul, were working in the upper section, while the five dead miners were in the lower part of the mine. They all come from nearby villages,” Sutopo said in a statement on Tuesday.

The joint rescue and search team immediately conducted a rescue operation after the landslide hit. The operation ended at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, despite it being hindered by heavy rain and wind as well as the muddy ground.

The bodies of the dead miners have been handed over to their respective families to be buried, Sutopo said.

He added that similar incidents were a common occurrence, which had claimed the lives of many local residents. “This might be caused by the way residents mine the diamond.”

“Banjarbaru should address the issue by preparing mitigation efforts, which includes development planning in the area. The administration initially planned to turn the area into a tourist destination, but the plan was hindered by land acquisition from residents,” Sutopo said.