Five Miners Dead After Illegal Mining Causes Landslide - ViralTab

Five Miners Dead After Illegal Mining Causes Landslide

Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash

Five miners have died and three more escaped with injuries after a landslide buried them at a location where illegal mining was reportedly being carried out in Ecuador.

The incident was reported in the sector of Los Ajos, in the San Lorenzo canton in the northwestern Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas, on the border with Colombia.

According to a press release from the National Service for Risk and Emergency Management (SNGRE) five people have been confirmed dead, whilst three more were rescued alive.


Reportedly, among those who lost their lives, one of them was a minor and two of those primarily reported missing were found dead in the rubble.

The three people who were rescued alive suffered minor injuries and their condition was stable enough for them to be discharged, according to national newspaper La Vanguardia.

According to SNGRE, rescue activities continue at the site where officers have uncovered machinery at the scene which was used to make a hole about 70 metres (230 ft) wide and 40 metres (131 ft) deep.

Policia Ecuador/Newsflash

According to preliminary police findings, as reported by La Vanguardia, the landslide is thought to have been caused by the illegal excavations at the site, which is difficult to access and can only be reached on foot.

The fire brigade and police units have activated a safety protocol to secure the area.

The Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, shared a post on Twitter about the event.

Policia Ecuador/Newsflash

He said: “Unfortunate news! Due to illegal mining, a landslide occurred in the Los Ajos sector, San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas. I have arranged for risk and emergency agencies to take all necessary actions to safeguard people’s lives.”

Illegal mining is an ongoing problem in Ecuador, where the government has been campaigning to introduce responsible mining and put a halt to illegal mining.

The minister for energy, natural, non-renewable resources, Carlos Perez Garcia, was quoted saying last year in response to environmental activists: “There is going to be mining in this country one way or another. Our decision is that there will be responsible mining and not illegal mining, which is what damages the country.”

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