KOHISTAN – Around 40 people were killed after a gold mine collapsed in Kohistan district of Badakhshan province on Sunday.
According to the reports by local official, another seven were injured in the incident.
According to a statement by district governor, Mohammad Rustam Raghi, the villagers dug a 60-metre deep shaft in a riverbed to search for gold; however, when they were inside, the walls caved in.
It was not clear why the shaft collapsed, but the provincial governor’s spokesperson, Nik Mohammad Nazari, said the miners were not professionals.
“The villagers have been doing business in this way for many years since there is no control of the government over them.”
“A rescue team has been dispatched to the area; however, the villagers have also started moving bodies on their own.”
Badakhshan is a province, bordering China, Tajikistan and Pakistan.
The impoverished region is prone to landslides, particularly, in the colder months when heavy snow blankets the province.
Illegal mining is common in resource-rich Afghanistan, with the Taliban relying on the sector for much of its revenue.
But most of the country’s minerals remain untapped as the raging conflict and lack of regulation deter international miners from exploiting the huge reserves.