Police in the south-central province of Quang Nam recovered the bodies Sunday of three gold miners believed to have died from suffocation.
Following tips from residents in Tam Lanh Commune, Phu Ninh District, at around 9 a.m., local police arrived at an illegal hillside gold mine and managed to remove the three decaying bodies from the 400-meter-deep mine after several hours.
The deceased were identified as Ho Van Thuong, 18, Ho Van Dien, 19, and Tran Viet Hoat, 49, police said.
The trio belonged to a group of four gold miners who went to the Ngach Chum mine several days ago, according to initial investigations.
After setting up a tent near the mine, the trio entered it. The fourth member, Ho Van Loi, 21, stayed at the tent to cook.
When the trio had not returned two days later, Loi told nearby residents to contact the police.
The case is being investigated further.
Since early April, at least seven people had been found dead in three illegal gold mines in Quang Nam.