March 7, 2006

Landslide kills 12 diggers in Indonesia’s Java

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A landslide in an unauthorized
sand-digging location killed 12 workers and injured two others
in Indonesia's West Java province, a police spokesman said on

The workers were collecting sand in a digging area in
Cipatat district that had been shut down by local authorities
when an avalanche of gravel came down on them on Tuesday.

"Twelve dead victims have been identified from the
incident. Officers are still finding out whether it was an
accident or a crime of negligence," Bambang Kuncoko, a
spokesman at the national police headquarters, told reporters.

A local official in Cipatat said the diggers lived nearby.

"The site has been closed by the local government, but
residents still try to dig ... to pay debts or make ends meet.
Many are jobless here," Hermanto told Reuters by phone from
Cipatat, located near the West Java capital of Bandung.

He added the diggers' lack of safety knowledge might have
caused the incident, which occurred when the weather was clear.