TIMIKA, Indonesia — Mining activities at a giant US-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia were halted Wednesday as rescuers using jacks, saws, and wheelbarrows dug through a caved-in mine tunnel looking for about 25 trapped workers, the mine operator said.
Four bodies have been found and 10 miners rescued since the cave-in occurred Tuesday morning. Oxygen was being pumped into the tunnel as the search continued, but the status of the trapped workers was not known.
Heavy equipment cannot be used in the tight space, forcing rescuers to remove debris by hand, according to a statement from PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary that runs the Grasberg mine in remote Mimika district in Papua, the easternmost province in the vast archipelago nation. The mine is owned by Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.