A mine shaft collapsed Monday in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 60 gold miners inside, officials tell Reuters today. "It was deep in the forest; there was a landslide," says a provincial mining official. The miners were working in an illegal operation, and at 327 feet underground, they were more than 200 feet below the legal limit for depth, says the country's mining minister. Rescue hopes are dim: The site is in rebel-held territory.
"There's almost total insecurity," says the minister. "It's difficult for us (to reach)." Non-industrial mining, often run by armed groups, employs hundreds of thousands of eastern Congolese people; accidents happen frequently. (Read more miners stories.)