Seven crushed to death in North Korea mine accident
Seven miners were recently killed in an incident at the Kumdok Mining Complex, North Korea’s largest site for producing non-ferrous metals. Mine authorities are placing responsibility for the incident on the miners themselves, but miners and local residents say that the primary cause was the working environment.
“Seven miners were working in the tunnels until night one day in late December and they were killed after being crushed by a cart carrying them out of the mine,” said a North Hamgyong Province-based source on January 15. “The scene of the incident was said to have been really ghastly because the body parts of the miners were all over the place.”
Kumdok Mining Complex’s Ro Un Mine, which has large deposits of zinc and is the specific location of the accident, is well-known to most North Koreans. Three years ago, the mine flooded and mining operations ceased. The North Korean authorities immediately moved to begin a “1,000-Day Battle” aimed at repairing the mine and enabling production.
The end of the battle came in late 2018, which means that miners were working hard in the tunnels as the completion of the battle neared. Within this context, the seven miners met their fate while working late at night last year.
“The mining authorities handled the collection of the bodies and returned them to their families after identification, but it is still not clear why the incident occurred,” said the source. “In other words, the question of who’s to blame has not been addressed.” ......