Liberia: Ten Feared Dead After Being Trapped in a Mudslide At an Artisanal Mine in River Cess County

View of a mudslide at another mining site in Bong Mines, Liberia.

Chio Town, River Cess — Residents of Chio Town woke up early Tuesday morning to the news of a mudslide that occurred an artisanal mine on the outskirt of the town about 11pm Monday. Local Authorities in River Cess confirmed the death of at least ten persons so far, but family members are still in search of their missing relatives.

"We were told that there were more people under than the number that has been discovered," Isaac Williams, River Cess' County Information Officer told NN/FPA. "As we speak, there are people searching for their relatives."

According to Williams, the incident occurred when some residents of the area had gone to an abandoned mine to do what they called "Daily Hustle." Williams says when they discovered that there was a deposit of Gold in the mine, the information spread, and illegal miners started trooping in. He says from the onset, joint securities in the county tried regulating movements of people in the area but were overpowered.

Onlookers say there were more than thirty people underground when the incident occurred. Volunteer rescuers were using shovels and diggers to search for additional bodies, but authorities. They say it is becoming more dangerous as there are no excavators.

At least seven of the victims been properly identified. Among those identified are Tardeh Chappy and resident of Chio Town, Richard Baryogar of Charlie Town, Edwin Dennis of Parmah, Alfred Dehyu of Gofeah Town and Paul Zah of Bodaza among others. The bodies have been turned over to their immediate relatives.

This is a developing story and is done in collaboration with New Narratives.

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