Miners in Congo escape from collapsed gold mine

STORY: Mining accidents are rife in the giant Central African country, especially at small, artisanal sites such as the one in South Kivu province that collapsed on Saturday following heavy rain.

The video shows a man precariously perched on the side of a steep slope of rubble, frantically digging with a spade while a group of other men stands in a large circle around him, watching.

Suddenly, a miner pops out of the rubble, as if shooting out of a tube, and slides down the slope, borne by his own momentum, as the onlookers break out in cheers of surprise and delight.

The rescuer is then seen redoubling his efforts, forsaking the spade to dig through the rubble with his bare hands. Another miner soon appears, then another, and within two minutes a total of nine men have come out alive and well.

Reuters has verified the video, which was widely shared on social media. A lack of safety procedures and proper equipment are at the root of frequent tunnel collapses at Congolese mines, in which miners are trapped underground with slim chances of survival.