Jambi (ANTARA News) - An operation is underway to rescue seven illegal gold miners trapped in an underground shaft they had dug in Parit Tanjung Village, Renah Pembarap Sub-district, Merangin District, Jambi Province, on Tuesday.

However, tens of rescue workers involved in the mission could not as yet evacuate the ill-fated miners due to difficulty in accessing the underground shaft where they were trapped, Head of the Jambi Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Al Hussain stated.

The only way to reach the scene of the incident was through waterway, as the 30- to 50-meter-deep shaft that the miners had dug vertically and horizontally towards the lower layer of the Merangin River had been covered by landslide and water, he explained.

The seven miners have been trapped since Sunday (Sept 2). Due to difficult access to the scene of the underground accident, the rescue workers could not deploy a heavy vehicle to facilitate their evacuation efforts, he remarked.

The joint rescue operation, involving at least 56 personnel of Basarnas, police, military, and Jambi Disaster Mitigation Agency as well as villagers, had been conducted for the third day.

The only effort that the rescue workers could make was pumping out water from the flooded basement of the underground shaft, with the hope that the ill-fated miners could finally be evacuated, he added.

Reported by Dodi Saputra
Edited by Rahmad Nasution

Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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