Indonesian authorities on Tuesday said they retrieved 17 bodies from the site of a landslide that trapped an unknown number of gold miners underground in illegal holes on the island of Sulawesi on February 26, The New York Times reported. A search for victims is still underway.
Rescuers have found 18 survivors until Tuesday.
Yusuf Latif, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency spokesperson, said that they had also found body parts. “We have no exact number of the people down there, or even how many small holes there are,” Latif said.
The spokesperson said the rescuers are also searching for the owners of about 50 motorcycles that have been parked near the mining site for days.
Meanwhile, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesperson for Indonesia’s disaster management agency, said around 30 to 100 miners could have been trapped at the site when the landslide occurred.
Many mines in Indonesia are operated in violation of regulation, posing major risks to the miners at the site.