All bodies recovered from collapse of Freeport mine in Papua
The last body was pulled out of the Grasberg mine in Papua last night and the company has vowed to allow proper investigations of all its facilities before the mine reopens.
The last body was pulled out of the collapsed tunnel in the Grasberg mine in Indonesia's Papua province on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deceased to 28.
A tunnel collapsed last week trapping 38 miners, and only ten were rescued. Five of them are in a critical condition and now receiving treatment in a hospital in Jakarta.
A spokesperson for owner Freeport McMoRan, Daisy Primayanti, praised the 200 rescuers who worked around the clock and told Alex Perrottet it was challenging dealing with the narrow tunnel.
DAISY PRIMAYANTI: Freeport Indonesia is declaring today a mourning day for the whole Freeport Indonesia family. We'll be marking this day by a memorial service in the Jakarta office this afternoon, likewise at the Papua job site. The emergency response group team have evacuated the last body that was buried under the rubble within the area last night. All the families have already been informed. Some of them have returned back to their hometowns. This is certainly a tragic event for the people of Indonesia.
ALEX PERROTTET: And what do you say about the efforts of the rescue workers who've been working around the clock?
DP: We have a group of rescue teams of 200 workers working around the clock 24 hours non-stop. And, really, the mentality was a mentality of not giving up at all. So last night it was pretty challenging to get the last victim out of the rubble. It took quite a long time to evacuate the body out of the rubble.
AP: And what's next? How will the company respond to calls for the mine to stay shut until a proper investigation will happen? What are the plans moving forward?
DP: Well, obviously, the situation is quite difficult for us. However, we need to take steps for the healing process, obviously. The intention is to return back to normal operations pending thorough police inspections of the area - all the area, not just the underground mine, but also the open-pit mining, and work collaboratively with the mining inspector. As and when a go-ahead time is granted by the mining inspector we will hopefully resume operations.
AP: How will the company - which has so much criticism internationally, as well - how will it recover from this tragedy?
DP: We are doing everything we can at our cost to recover. More importantly, I mentioned previously, and it was a statement made by our president director, that he has instructed than an investigation be undertaken, a thorough investigation be undertaken.
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