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31 workers killed in Badakhshan gold mine collapse

31 workers killed in Badakhshan gold mine collapse

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Jan 06, 2019 - 16:16

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): At least 31 people were killed and six others wounded on Sunday when a gold mine collapsed in the Kohistanat district of northeastern Badakhshan province, officials said.

Nik Mohammad Nazari, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed the incident to Pajhwok Afghan News and said 31 people had been killed and six others injured.

Mahboob Rahaman Talaat, a provincial council member, told Pajhwok Afghan News the incident happened in Shepoi village of the district shortly after 9am when dozens of workers were busy sifting for gold there.

Habiburahman, a gold trader, said 30 dead bodies and eight injured people had been evacuated to the district hospital in cooperation with local people.

But Fawzia Kofi, a lawmaker from Badakhshan province, put the death toll at 40, saying another 10 miners were injured when a sand crushing machine collapsed in Shepoi village of the district.

Kofi said Badakhshan was minerals rich province but it remained poor due to government's lack of attention and failure to regulate mining in the province.

Another lawmaker from Badakhshan Mohammad Zekriya told The Washington Post that workers were in a river bed sifting for gold when rocks and debris tumbled down the mountainside. The mining activity did not prompt the landslide, he said.

Landslides are common in the rugged, mountainous north, typically caused by melting snow or heavy rain.

President Ashraf Ghani expressed his deep grief over the incident and directed the authorities concerned to provide assistance to the victims’ families at the earliest possible.The president expressed sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims.

pk/ma

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