Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - About 23 employees of US-based gold and copper mining compant PT Freeport Indonesia are still being trapped in a landslide occurring in underground mining area in Tembagapura, Papua Province, last Tuesday (May 14), spokesman said.

"There is a misunderstanding regarding the number of victims. Earlier it was reported there were 39 workers trapped in the landslide area but later we found out a worker has managed to get out from the location. So the total number of people trapped inside was 38," Vice President Corporate Communications of PT Freeport Indonesia Daisy Primayanti said here on Saturday.

She explained of the total of 38 workers, 10 survive, five dead while the condition of the rest are still unknown. Up till now rescue team from PT Freeport Indonesia has managed to open access to the landslide location.

Earlier Tembagapura Police Chief Adjunct Commissioner Sudirman said around 41 people were in the area when the disaster happened, and 14 of them were evacuated, including four dead bodies.

When the landslide occurred, the 41 people were in a class room for a training program.

The collapse of PT Freeport underground mine this time was the biggest with the higher number of victims in the past few years after a similar incident at the Grassberg in 2003.

In October 2003, a section of the Freeport gold mine collapsed and killed two workers and injured five others.

The workers were killed when a section of the open-pit Grasberg mine collapsed onto workers in the pit. The Grasberg deposit, discovered by Freeport in 1988, has the world`s largest gold reserves and the third-largest copper reserves.

Reporting by Hendrina Dian Kandipi
Translating and Editing by Amie Fenia Arimbi

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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