Hunt for buried PNG miners goes on

RESCUERS are still desperately digging through the mud at Saki in Central Province’s Goilala District in efforts to retrieve the bodies of victims that were buried alive in a landslide at the remote mining camp almost a fortnight ago.
Hunt for buried PNG miners goes on Hunt for buried PNG miners goes on Hunt for buried PNG miners goes on Hunt for buried PNG miners goes on Hunt for buried PNG miners goes on

Staff Reporter

Fifteen people, including three children, are feared dead after being buried alive in a landslide at the remote artisanal mining camp, which can only be reached by foot or helicopter.
 
A group were sleeping at the base of the mountainside two weeks ago when the landslide happened in the early hours of December 28.
 
Prime Minister James Marape visited Saki last week.
 
Separately, hundreds of people from Baiyer in Western Highlands have abandoned their villages and fled to safety following a huge landslide which buried food gardens, houses, land and domestic animals in the area, a ward councillor says.
 
No lives were lost but a young man received injuries when he tried to escape being buried alive.
 
Antinga ward councillor James Tem said people were living in fear as heavy rain continued in the area.
 
"The landslide started at around 5am on January 4 and continued until around midday on January 8, destroying everything on its way including cash crops such as coffee, betel nuts fish ponds, piggery and other crops," he said.
 
"Water sources locals used were also buried in mud and debris."
 
The Unkini Primary and Elementary schools and the community health post at Antinga village were closed since Monday as the water supply system was covered by the landslide.
 
People affected are from Antinga village and the neighbouring Kombau village in Mul-Baiyer.
 
According to the villagers, it was their first time to experience such a devastating and scary landslide. Tem said his people from the Ukuni-Oiamb clan were badly affected.
 
He said the same landslide destroyed the neighbouring Ukuni-Kepka-Pintbu clan from ward 40.
 
"We heard a large noise coming towards us and people were very lucky to escape," he said.
 
"They were asleep. We could have been buried alive but through the grace of God, we escaped death in the early hours of Monday morning."

 

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