Tanzania mine flooding traps 66


Hopes appear slim of finding 59 miners trapped in gemstone pits that flooded in northern Tanzania over the weekend, local authorities said.

The pits at Mererani, the only place in the world where the violet-blue gemstone tanzanite is found, flooded on Saturday after a heavy seasonal downpour.

Six bodies have already been recovered. The government yesterday put the number rescued at 35.

A witness said the scene of the flooded tanzanite mines smelled of decomposing bodies. Volunteer rescuers complained of lack of basic protective gear like face masks and gloves.