Police in Zambia say ten people have been killed following the collapse of a dumpsite in the country’s copperbelt region.
Ten other persons are also reported to have sustained serious injuries in the disaster in the town of Kitwe.
The dumping site is meant for copper mining waste, police said on Wednesday.
Scale of collapse
Local media reports that more than 20 young miners are feared dead. Kitwe is 400 km north of the capital Lusaka.
Reuters quoted Copperbelt police chief Charity Katanga as saying that “The incident happened this morning and at least 10 people have been confirmed dead.”
The site of the collapse is an area often patronized by artisanal miners who are re-mining the waste site for copper and other metals.
Reuters reports that in February the government’s mining investment arm gave a 10 percent stake in the waste site to small-scale miners.
The decision is to empower surrounding communities languishing in poverty and unemployment to get some relief.
The dumpsite remains a safety concern after suffering several collapses in the past.
Zambia is Africa’s second largest producer of copper.