JAKARTA, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The search and rescue operation carried out after a gold mine collapse in central Indonesia ended Thursday, with the death toll standing at 27, according to Indonesian disaster agency authorities.
"So far, a total of 27 miners have been dead. The search for the victims is decided to be ended today (Thursday) because the situation in the underground has been unsafe for the rescuers, and failed to comply with the health standards," Haris Dilapanga, head of disaster management agency in Bolaang Mongondow district where the mine is situated, told Xinhua over phone.
The number of death toll rose from 17 on Tuesday, according to the agency.
A total of 18 miners survived the disaster which hit the unlicensed gold mine in Bakan village of North Sulawesi province of central Indonesia on Feb. 26, but many of whom suffer from wounds, the official said.
Poor mine infrastructure and too many underground tunnels dug by miners along with unstable soil condition were blamed for the incident, according to the agency.
The Indonesian government has prohibited operation of illegal gold mines, which is common in the country's remote areas.
With lacking of safety standard, such activities have often triggered mine accidents in Indonesia, a natural resources-rich nation.