An illegal gold mine on Indonesia's Sulawesi island collapsed on nearly two dozen people who were working inside, killing six and leaving one worker missing, officials said on Thursday. Survivors estimated 23 people were trapped in the rubble when the mine in Central Sulawesi province's Parigi Moutong district collapsed late Wednesday due to unstable soil, said Andrias Hendrik Johannes, who heads the local search and rescue agency.
Rescuers were able to pull 16 people from the debris and recover the bodies of four women and two men during a grueling search effort, he said. Police, emergency personnel, soldiers and volunteers were trying to locate the remaining worker. Their efforts were hampered by the mine's remote location and the unstable soil that risked further slides.
A video showed rescuers struggling to bring out a body bag from an inundated ravine. Illegal or informal mining operations are commonplace in Indonesia, providing a tenuous livelihood to those who labor in conditions with a high risk of injury or death.