OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – The local administrator of a gold-mining region in western Burkina Faso confirmed that 14 people were killed and 13 injured when a mine collapsed.
Tingande Zoundi, the prefect of Bale province, said the accident occurred at 1 a.m. Sunday in the village of Bagassi when the 80-meter (yard)-deep hole caved in, trapping the miners. Zoundi said all of the bodies have been recovered and buried.
Mining accidents are common during the rainy season throughout the nations in West Africa where gold deposits are found. Tens of thousands of artisanal miners work at unregulated mines, often with no protection. The Burkina Faso government issued a decree prohibiting artisanal mining during the wet months from June to September, but they do not have the means to enforce the ban.