Papua Landslide Death Toll Rises to 19
JAYAPURA ~ The death toll from a landslide in the eastern province of Papua rose to 19 on Wednesday as bad weather forced a halt to the search for survivors, miners involved in the rescue effort said.
A spokesman for Freeport Indonesia, which operates a nearby mine, said it was unclear how many people had been buried when a cliff slid down on an illegal mining operation late Monday.
“As of this afternoon when we had to halt the search efforts because of the bad weather, a total of 19 bodies had been found,” spokesman Mindo Pangaribuan said.
Pangaribuan said the victims were all illegal gold panners working on tailings from the Freeport mine but were not inside Freeport’s concession area as claimed earlier by police.
The landslide took place late on Monday evening in an area about 3,000 meters above sea level that is continuously shrouded by mist.
Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, said its operations had not been affected by the landslide.Filed under: The Nation