Noos News•Yesterday at 10:28 p.m
An illegal mine collapsed in Brokopondo, about two hours south of Paramaribo. The President of Suriname, Santoki, announced this evening in the National Assembly that there have been deaths.
It is not clear how many people died there. Surinamese media reported 18 to 21 deaths, but said these were unconfirmed numbers. People were looking for gold in the mine shaft when they were overwhelmed.
Santoki said: “Information indicates that in any case (the well, the well) has collapsed and people are trapped and most likely all of them are victims of this serious incident.” According to the president, the gold prospectors were working in a “temporary tunnel with great depth’.
General political debates in the Suriname parliament were suspended following this announcement. The government is considering declaring national mourning for a day or more.
The government sent the army, police and the National Disaster Management Coordination Center to the mine site. Santuki said it was initially a rescue operation. The government will ask Brazil for help “if we as a country cannot solve our problem rescue operations“.
Vice President Ronnie Brunswick also traveled to Brokopondo. According to Santuki, he will conduct a full investigation into the incident.
“What we can do at this time is to take the necessary measures, but at the same time send sympathy and compassion to all the relatives,” the Suriname president said.
Dagblad Suriname reports that the army and police evicted the illegal prospectors from the site a month ago.