Death Toll Rises to 17 After Collapse of U.S.-Owned Indonesian MineS

Three more bodies were recovered today bringing the official death toll to 17 for a mine collapse in Papua, Indonesia. The mine, which extracted both gold and copper, is owned by a Phoenix-based company.

This continues a bad month for foreign corporations getting cheap labor in poor countries, coming a few weeks after a collapse at a Bangladesh garment factory killed hundreds.

The collapse occurred last week inside of The Big Gossan underground training facility, where 38 workers were undergoing safety training. Ten workers were rescued, while eleven remain still buried underneath the collapse.

The giant mine is owned by the American company, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, which has suspended mining operations at the incredibly lucrative mine. The mine, the second-largest copper mine in the world, has been the focus of several demonstrations by workers over the past few years, who feel the working conditions are both dangerous and inhumane. Eleven workers have died in accidents in the mine since 2003.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by rock slides, and the instability of the tunnel have made it impossible for larger machinery to assist in the rescue efforts.