At least 15 people have been killed in a landslide at a gold mine in Guinea’s northeastern region of Siguiri, according to officials, as rescuers on Sunday continued to dig through the rubble in search of survivors.
The artisanal mine near the village of Tatakourou collapsed on Saturday, killing the miners instantly, Sekou Biniou Simagan, a local councillor, said.
The bodies of the 15 artisanal miners, who were all male and between the ages of 14 and 40, were retrieved by Saturday evening. They were buried in a mass grave after funeral rites were performed.
Sinaman Traore, a gold panner at the mine, said he had seen volunteers rescue two colleagues.
The West African country has seen a spate of accidents at artisanal mines, particularly around Siguiri near the border with Mali, a region where more than 20,000 gold miners are officially active.
At least 17 clandestine miners were killed in a landslide in February 2019 and another dozen nine months later.
Despite the country boasting rich deposits of minerals such as bauxite, diamonds and gold, the bulk of the population faces a daily struggle to survive, with the UN estimating about one in two living below the poverty line.