Rescue effort under way at Tanzania gold mine

 29 Jan 2017 - 13:50

Rescue effort under way at Tanzania gold mine


Nairobi: A rescue operation is under way to try and free at least 14 gold miners trapped underground for two days in northern Tanzania, local media reported Sunday.

They are stuck roughly 35 metres down the mine shaft, the governor of Geita province, Ezekiel Kyunga, told state media.

"We hope to find them alive," he said, noting that an area 20 metres (60 feet) deep had been cleared so far.

"The operations are being conducted with extreme caution to avoid causing other landslides that could complicate things."

According to the Tanzanian press the workers have been stuck in the Chinese-operated mine since Friday.

Tanzania is the fourth-largest African producer of gold and the precious metal is one of the country's main sources of foreign currency.

The collapse of mine shafts is frequent, with miners often lacking the tools and materials considered necessary to operate safely.