Tragedy Strikes Zambia’s Copper Mines: Seven Miners Confirmed Dead, Over 20 Missing in Landslides

ZAMBIA –Seven miners have been confirmed dead, and more than 20 others are reported missing, after heavy rains caused landslides that buried them inside tunnels at a copper mine in Zambia, according to local authorities.No bodies had yet been retrieved after the landslides late Thursday, Police said.

The miners were digging for copper ore at the Seseli open-pit mine in the copper-belt city of Chingola, some 250 miles north of the capital, Lusaka. Neither Police nor government officials could say exactly how many miners were trapped in the tunnels, but Chingola District Commissioner, Raphael Chumupi, told The Associated Press yesterday that there were at least 36. Chumupi said the miners were engaged in illegal mining without the knowledge of the mine owners.

Illegal artisanal mining is common in Zambia, a southern African nation of 20 million people, one of the 10 largest copper producers in the world.