Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Twenty-three mining workers of PT Freeport in Papua are still trapped in the company`s underground training facility that collapsed on May 15.

The company`s mining technique chief, Nurhadi Sabirin, said in a press statement to ANTARA here on Saturday that efforts had been slow because rocks continued to fall from the tunnel roof hindering the rescue team`s move to reach the location of the workers.

"We will continue exerting every effort and resources available for the rescue mission at the Big Gossan training area," he said.

Nurhadi who led the rescue team also said that the company had deployed world-class experts and equipment in its efforts to finish the rescue operation as quickly as possible.

"One of the equipment used for the rescue efforts is an instrument to detect vibration called `Lifepak 3`", he said.

He said the instrument had detected vibration like heart beat but this could not as yet be confirmed as vibration could also come from other sources.

"We have not identified any other sign in the past 72 hours," he added.

Nurhadi said his team had kept working 24 hours non-stop and very quickly and in a safest way possible to rescue the workers.

"The more time it takes however the slimmer the possibility of the workers to be found save would be. So, we ask for prayers and support from all parties concerned for them and their families," he said.

A total of 38 workers were trapped in an underground training facility following a landslide in the area on May 15. Ten of them had been saved but five others had died.
reporting by hendrina dian kandipi

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2013