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Papua police to investigate Freeport incident

The Papua police established an investigation into the cause of the collapsed tunnel at the Big Gossan underground training facility at the PT Freeport Indonesia mine, on May 14, an official said.

Papua police chief Insp.Gen.Tito Karnavian said it was crucial to know whether negligence played a part in the accident that killed 28 workers and injured 10 others.

He said the investigation team would cooperate with related institutions, including the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s mining inspectorate and geologists.

“We will use them as expert witnesses because the police have no expertise in that area,” Tito said, as quoted by Antara news agency.

As reported earlier. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Jero Wacik said the government had formed an investigation team led by Ridho Wattimena, the head of mining engineering graduate program at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

Similar accidents have blighted operations at Freeport’s mining areas. In December 2009, a landslide killed one and injured four others. In may 2008, following two days of heavy rain the mine’s tailing piles collapsed and buried over 20 gold miners.(nai)

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