A migrant worker from Kratie died early yesterday after being trapped down an illegally dug gold mine in Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima district, officials said.
Chung Phlas commune chief Leat Lom Kun said the man, Ngoun Heng, 21, died on his way to hospital after being trapped for hours with limited oxygen. He had been working alone and was stranded when his rope broke.
“He was found in a weak state deep in the mine,” Lom Kun said. “Villagers pulled him out, but he died on the way to hospital.”
San Darith, chief of the provincial mining department, said the known mining area – where more than 20 companies are licensed – is attractive to amateurs. Many of them, however, have little awareness of the risks of digging mines themselves.
They also lack the proper equipment and technical expertise required to work safely, he added. “Many use explosives at night and they dig deep. It is so dangerous,” he said.
Illegal mining has claimed the lives of several villagers in Battambang and Ratanakkiri in the past year.