19 killed, more feared trapped in Tanzania landslide

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Dar Es Salaam, April 18 (IANS) At least 19 gold miners were killed in a landslide in Tanzania’s northwestern district of Kahama, with many more feared trapped in mining pits.

Justus Kamugisha, Shinyanga regional police commander, said on Friday 19 bodies had been recovered so far and rescue operations were underway.

He said the miners were buried alive on Thursday night by a huge landslide which was caused by weak poles that supported soil in areas with mining pits.

Rescuers were waiting for equipment from nearby Bulyanhulu Gold Mine, he said, putting a large number for those possibly trapped.

Witness Masanja Mgamba said the miners did not take precautionary measures before they went down the mining pits.

“Over 100 miners go down the pits daily. Let’s pray that there were not 100 when the landslide occurred otherwise it will be a disaster,” said Mgamba.