09/07/2024 06:09 PM

KABUPATEN BONE BOLANGO, July 9 (Bernama-Antara) --  The police, Tuesday, sent a helicopter to help retrieve the bodies of miners killed in a massive landslide that levelled their unauthorised gold mining pit in Tulabolo Village, Bone Bolango District, Gorontalo, on Sunday, reported Indonesian News Agency (Antara). 

Seven bodies were retrieved as difficult access to the mining pit had hampered the rescuers' efforts. A joint team of rescuers had to walk for about 23.7 kilometres to reach the landslide site, according to the Gorontalo police.

Six of the seven bodies, retrieved from the landslide site through an airlift were identified as Arjun Djafar, Hendra Pakaya, Ferdi Tune, Aryanto Yusuf, Roy Pusini, and Risno Djafar, while the identity of another victim had yet to be established.

On Tuesday, rescuers also used stretchers to retrieve two other bodies and moved them to a post that the local police and health office's medical personnel had set up for post-mortem examination.

Relatives of the gold miners who perished in the landslide were seen flocking to the post to identify the arriving bodies.

On Monday, the rescuers had retrieved 11 bodies. Some 10 of them who could have been identified were Fatma Apita, Dewa Saputra Kunye, Samsiar Buhungo, Alfin Manengge, Lukman, Alfian Mamonto, Ramat Nurhamidi, Rina Mohamad, Ramlah Kumuriah, and Rudin Kunye.

Earlier, the Gorontalo Search and Rescue Agency's head, Heriyanto, stated that the rescuers continued their SAR operation on Monday morning after suspending it on Sunday evening due to low visibility and improper road conditions.

According to Heriyanto, torrential rains lashed several Gorontalo areas on Saturday (July 6), triggering flash floods and landslides.

Several bridges connecting access roads to the gold mining pit, located far from residential areas, collapsed.

As a result of the collapse of bridges amid ongoing rainfall, a joint team of rescue workers from the local police, army, SAR agency, and the Indonesian Red Cross reached the gold mining pit on foot.

Indonesia has borne witness to several deadly mining accidents over the past few years.

In February 2019, for instance, dozens of gold miners were buried in an illegal gold mining site in Bakan Village, Bolaang Mongondow District, North Sulawesi Province.

Search and rescue workers found several of them dead while 18 miners survived the disaster.

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