Local residents assist search and rescue teams. Photo: Bogor Police.

At least five people were killed in West Java, Indonesia when a landslide hit an illegal gold mine.

At around 10pm On May 12, heavy rainfall brought about landslides that buried the mine in the Nanggung district of Bogor, The Jakarta Post reported. According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), five unidentified bodies and three survivors were found at the scene.

BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said heavy rainfall along with unstable soil structures triggered the landslides. He pointed out that while no specific data was given on the number of miners at the site, about 20 miners were working there on the night of the landslides.

The steep terrain of the location proved to be an obstacle for search and rescue workers, and bad weather caused the search to be halted. The rescue efforts continued on May 13.

Pongkor is a known spot for illegal gold mines in which miners search for gold despite lacking the proper tools and skills. In 2015, landslides buried a gold mine, killing 12 miners.

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