At least 40 people were killed when a gold mine collapsed Sunday in northern Afghanistan.
The incident happened as they searched for gold in the Kohestan district of Badakhshan province, a remote, mountainous region in northeast Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. Some others were injured. It was not clear why the shaft collapsed, but the provincial governor's spokesman Nik Mohammad Nazari said the miners were not professionals.
That happens because "the villagers have been involved in this business for decades with no government control over them." He added that casualty numbers could rise as about 50 miners were present in the tunnel when it caved in. Villagers had dug a 60-meter (200-feet) deep shaft in a river bed to search for gold. The people were using an excavator. A rescue team was sent in the area. llegal mining is common in resource-rich Afghanistan. Afghanistan's untapped mineral resources are said to be worth as much as $1 trillion. The collapse was attributed to a landslide in the area. Landslides are frequent in the northern mountainous provinces of Afghanistan.