At least 50 people are presumed dead after an artisanal gold mine collapsed Friday afternoon near Kamituga, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Reuters reported, citing a local mining NGO.
"Several miners were in the shaft which was covered and no one could get out. We are talking about fifty young people", said Emiliane Itongwa, president of the Women's Social Support and Supervision Initiative, cited by Reuters.
According to Itongwa, the collapse occured on the "Detroit" mine site at around 3 p.m. local (13:00 GMT), after heavy rains.
The reasons behind the incident were not immediately reported.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich in natural resources, and the accidents in artisanal gold mines are common in the area due primarily to poor safety standards and extremely dangerous work conditions.
According to reports, artisanal gold mines in Congo are controlled by armed groups that illegally levy taxes on workers.