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Miners back at scene of fatal collapse

Officials inspect a mine shaft in Kratie where a shaft collapsed in August, killing miners.
Officials inspect a mine shaft in Kratie where a shaft collapsed in August, killing miners. Photo supplied

Miners back at scene of fatal collapse

People appear to have resumed illegal mining activities at a gold mining site in Kratie province, which was shut down by authorities in August after four miners were killed, officials said yesterday.

In late August, three workers and a team leader were killed while another one was injured when the unlicensed shaft collapsed, according to Sok Yoeun, chief of O’Por village in Sambor district. Yoeun said yesterday that at least 10 migrants from Kampong Thom province had returned to the same shaft and resumed mining.

“The villagers are unemployed and poor, so they secretly do the [small scale] mining . . . but there is no large scale mining,” he said.

Chea Sopheak, provincial deputy prosecutor, said he and other relevant officials inspected the site on Monday after they received a tip that illegal mining was taking place, however, no activity was seen at the location.

Officials only found a cook at the site, but Sopheak noted that the miners might have escaped. “We seized some evidence, [which includes] some machines,” he said.

He added that there’s still a pending case in court regarding the mining site, but declined to elaborate.

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