At least 10 people were killed and others were missing after an illegal gold mine collapsed in northeastern Guinea, local officials and the Red Cross said on Thursday.
Accidents in clandestine mines are common in Guinea, which has reserves of gold, diamonds, bauxite, and iron ore, though most of the population of the West African country lives in poverty.
‘At least 10 people died on Wednesday morning when a landslide hit a gold mine in Kintingnan in Siguiri province,’ said local government official Aliou Cisse.
The death toll was confirmed by the local Red Cross and a security official, who also said three children were among the victims.
‘Some other victims are missing through we don't know the number. We are trying to find them as quickly as possible, but we don't have much hope they will be alive in the tunnels,’ Cisse said.
Cisse said Kintingnan mine had been shut down by authorities but local residents had reopened it without authorisation.
At least 17 people were killed in February when another clandestine gold mine collapsed in Norassoba, 35 kilometres (21 miles) from Siguiri town.
Illegal miners are often drawn to Guinea's mineral wealth from surrounding West African countries, including Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal.