GEORGETOWN, May 18 (Reuters) - A mining pit collapsed in the Guyanese jungle on Sunday, presumably burying 10 gold miners, authorities and a private association said on Monday.
"The men are confirmed dead," said Ajay Baksh, a consultant with the local Guyana gold and diamond miners association.
The accident at the private mine was believed to have been caused by heavy rainfall that saturated the soil surrounding the pit.
"They can't use heavy equipment because of the state of the soil, so it is compounding the search effort," said Rupert Roopnarine, Guyana's official in charge of the natural resources sector. He said efforts would continue to recover the corpses of the 10 men believed to have died.
Seven other miners escaped or were rescued alive after the accident, which occurred about 40 feet underground. (Reporting by Neil Marks; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Ediitng by Steve Orlofsky)