At least one person has died and around 20 more are thought to be trapped below ground following a collapse at an abandoned gold mine in the Paxtachi District of Samarkand Province in Uzbekistan on Tuesday 16 January 2018. The incident was not reported to the authorities until Friday 19 January, as the miners were working illegally in the disused mine, and initial rescue attempts were carried out by local communities without involving any official body.
The approximate location of the 16 January 2018 Samarakand mine collapse. Google Maps.
Uzbekistan has significant deposits of a range of precious and base metals, and is the world's twelth largest producer of gold. However the country also has a very high unemployment rate, and disused mines can provide a potential source of income in areas where mining has ceased. Such unregulated mining seldom featuring any form of heath and safety procedures, and accidents are frequent.
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