|Rescuers searching for victims. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Hà
HOÀ BÌNH — The body of the last victim of a gold mine collapse in Lộng Village, Thanh Nông Commune, Lạc Thuỷ District in the northern province of Hoà Bình was found at 11:30pm on Wednesday, 11 days after the collapse.
According to Lạc Thuỷ District authorities, Bùi Văn Thú, a 28-year-old from Thanh Nông Commune, was the last victim of the tragedy to be discovered.
Rescuers took his body out of the cave for an autopsy.
At about 2am on November 4, the mouth of Cột Cờ cave in the village collapsed, trapping two miners inside.
The incident occurred after a dam above the cave mouth broke while the two workers were operating an excavator inside the cave. Thousands of cubic metres of soil and water flowed into the cave, sweeping the two workers, one automobile and the excavator deep inside.
The collapse killed the two workers. The body of Trương Công Chánh, 26, from Thanh Hoá Province, was found on November 10.
The provincial police arrested Bạch Xuân Hưng, the owner of an illegal gold mine on November 5.
Quách Tất Liêm, head of Lạc Thủy District’s People’s Committee, said local authorities had already fined Hưng for illegal gold mining, but he had continued mining activities.
In early October, Thanh Nông Commune authorities removed tents and equipment from the mining site, but the removal was hampered by a landslide on a nearby road.
Taking advantage of this period, Hưng resumed mining at night.
Nguyễn Thành, deputy director of the provincial Department of Public Security, said that miners working illegally under Hưng’s direction may have buried some equipment to hide the evidence of their violations. — VNS