Indonesia

Indonesian Mine Collapse Death Toll at 17

Likely to rise

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The confirmed death toll from an underground mining accident at a big mine run by PT Freeport Indonesia in Papua has risen to 17 people, with authorities saying the tally likely will rise to 28 in the coming days, making this one of the country's worst mining disasters.

Nine more bodies were pulled from the collapsed training site 500 meters below the surface at Freeport's remote mining operations in the mountains of Papua, eastern Indonesia. Over the weekend, the company said rescuers no longer were detecting heartbeats from the rubble, leaving local police to expect the final death toll will rise to 28 workers.

Freeport Indonesia's massive mining operations in Papua remained closed Monday, with labor unions demanding the shutdown continue until the remaining dead are recovered from the ruins. "This is the demand of all workers," said Virgo Sallosa, a spokesman for a union of Freeport subcontractors.