Three trapped in illegal Vietnamese gold mine

By Le Hoang   June 7, 2016 | 07:53 pm GMT+7
Three trapped in illegal Vietnamese gold mine
Gold ore. Photo by James St. John, CC by 2.0

Three gold miners have been trapped 300m below ground for three days in the remote commune of Lung Cao in central Thanh Hoa Province. A professional rescue team was dispatched to the site early this morning.

According to Chairman of Ba Thuoc District's People's Committee Nguyen Van Dzung, the 45-member rescue team from the army, police border and firefighting forces set off from Thanh Hoa City at 3 a.m. on June 7 carrying specialized equipment. However, the difficult terrain has slowed their pace.

“The three men may have died after few hours trapped in the deep tunnel filled with toxic gas,” said Dzung.

Earlier on June 5, two gold miners reportedly had gone down into the cave in Lung Cao Commune to fix some equipment, but one of them choked on toxic gas and tried to crawl out to call for help. The other two miners later went into the cave to rescue their co-worker but failed to return.

It wasn't until noon of the next day that district authorities were alerted of the incident.

Kit Village is one of the most remote mountainous areas of ​​Lung Cao Commune. It has no access to either electricity or mobile phone signal.

Illegal gold mining has been common in the commune for the last two decades, and many people have lost their lives in the quest for gold.

Authorities have conducted several raids to put an end to the business but without success.