More than 50 people are dead after landslides collapsed three artisanal gold mining wells near the city of Kamituga in eastern Congo’s South Kivu province on Friday, officials said.
Heavy rains for days led to the disaster.
“The diggers and the transporters of the stones were swallowed up by the waters,” said the Kamituga mayor, Alexandre Bundya. “A team of rescuers with motor pumps came to recover the bodies of the victims.”
Diwa Honoré, who survived the tragedy, said more than 50 people had been in the three wells, which are about 50 meters (54 yards) deep.
Artisanal mining quarries are often unsafe in eastern Congo and the Kasai region. Women and children also work in the mines to make ends meet. Deadly collapses occurred earlier this year in Maniema and in Katanga, killing at least 18 people.