Five bodies recovered from collapsed gold mine in Liberia

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The bodies of five people trapped in a gold mine in Tappita, Liberia have been recovered.

The five were part of a group mining for gold on Saturday before the walls of the pit suddenly collapsed on them. They were buried immediately by officials because of their decomposed state.

At least 10 people have been rescued and are recovering. Some of those survivors are being treated for broken legs, others for dehydration.  Around 35-40 other people are still believed to be missing.

According to local reports, the mine is deep and dangerous and the rescuers have been using their bare hands in search efforts because they don’t have machinery. Officials near the scene add that such heavy machinery could accidentally kill those still trapped.

The gold field in Nimba County is a major centre for illicit mining. According to the county administrator, David Dorr Cooper, more than 100,000 self-employed people head to various illegal mines in the region.