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Three Die In Abandoned Kyrgyz Gold Mine

JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan -- Three Kyrgyz locals have died in an abandoned gold mine in the southern province of Jalal-Abad.

A spokesman for the Jalal-Abad Regional Police Department, Myktybek Turdubekov, told RFE/RL on February 16 the tragedy occurred in the region's Chatkal District.

Five residents of Terek-Sai village entered the mine on February 14 and went some 1,000 meters underground in an effort to find gold.

The five began to feel poorly because of trapped gases in the mine and tried to leave. The three victims were reportedly overcome and died of gas poisoning.

Impoverished people in rural Kyrgyzstan often try to enter abandoned mines across the country to scavenge for gold or other resources.