News / Asia

Miners Trapped at Giant Freeport Mine in Papua

Workers from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc gather during a protest over an accident where 39 workers attending an underground training were trapped when a tunnel collapsed, at Mile 72, near the mining area in Tembagapura of Papua province May 15, 201
Workers from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc gather during a protest over an accident where 39 workers attending an underground training were trapped when a tunnel collapsed, at Mile 72, near the mining area in Tembagapura of Papua province May 15, 201
Kate Lamb
Rescue workers in a remote region of West Papua, in eastern Indonesia, are continuing efforts to free 23 miners trapped in an underground gold and copper mine.  Five miners were killed when the mine tunnel collapsed.

Thirty-nine Freeport workers were reportedly undergoing safety training in an underground training facility at Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg mine when the tunnel collapsed Tuesday.
 
Freeport officials confirm five deaths from the accident. Rescuers have managed to evacuate 11 survivors, all reportedly in stable condition.
 
But the fate of the 23 employees still underground remains unclear.
 
Rescuers are pumping oxygen into the tunnel as they work to retrieve those trapped, in what the company says has been a delicate rescue effort.
 
The confined space and potential instability of the tunnel initially warranted the use of manual jacks, saws and wheelbarrows, until heavy-duty equipment could safely be employed Thursday.
 
Daisy Primayanti, vice president of corporate communications at PT Freeport Indonesia, the local subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, said the rescue team has been working continuously to unblock access to the tunnel.
 
“Now it looks like they have been unable to unblock the access to the tunnel, so we are hoping that we can evacuate more and more survivors," she said.  "We hope that with heavy equipment being involved now we could expedite the process.”
 
Primayanti said there should be significant developments on rescue efforts Friday.
 
The rescue efforts are being conducted jointly by PT Freeport Indonesia, local police and the Indonesian military.
 
Freeport has suspended production at the mining site for two days now -- a move it says is out of respect for the deceased and injured workers.
 
Up to 1,000 angry workers reportedly protested near the mine on Wednesday, the latest in a string of protests that have hindered production over recent years.
 
In 2011, workers at the Grasberg mine staged a three-month strike that was finally resolved when a significant wage increase was granted.

The Grasberg mine is the second-largest copper mine in the world and has the world’s largest reserves of gold.
 
Landslides at the Grasberg mine, which employs 24,000 workers, have claimed 11 lives since 2003.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: برامج from: http://www.babilnet.net/v
May 16, 2013 9:19 AM
Mining is one of the largest fossil business and therefore must take all necessary measures to protect workers
In Response

by: Andrew from: Australia
May 18, 2013 8:40 AM
But isn't Papua a United Nations colony?

The UN took possession of West Papua (West New Guinea) after it made General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII) authorizing an agreement under article 85 and Chapter XII of the UN Charter. The locals say 100,000s of people have been killed, thousands arrested as political prisoners, others tortured etc. during the pass fifty years of UN trusteeship by Indonesia, and that Indonesia has no right to be selling mining licenses to Freeport or to BP.

What is the truth? Did the Kennedy administration unwittingly get used by a Freeport director Robert Lovett to enslave the West Papuan people for the pass fifty years?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More