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At least 15 feared dead in PNG landslide

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People gather on a hillside after a landslide buried over a dozen people including children according to a government spokesman, in Saki, Goilala district, Papua New Guinea December 29, 2020. Reuters TV via REUTERS </p> <p>

Up to 15 people were feared dead after a landslide struck a mining camp in central Papua New Guinea following heavy rain, officials said Wednesday.

Local MP William Samb said the camp in Goilala was buried as miners slept early Monday.

“Unfortunately there are no survivors from what we hear,” Samb told ABC, Australia’s national broadcaster.

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“Sadly they were all buried alive.”

Officials said the exact death toll was unclear, but two bodies had so far been recovered and up to 15 were feared dead.

The group was panning a riverbed for gold.

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Heavy rain and a lack of equipment had hampered local rescuers attempting to dig through the mud.

Better tools and supplies were being flown in to help the recovery effort, with the Governor of the Central Province, Robert Agarobe, expected to arrive Thursday to help assess the damage.

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