Ghana's government says it has stopped rescue operations at an illegal mining site and that 22 miners trapped underground are dead.

Deputy Minister of Mines and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio said Friday that four days of attempts to locate survivors at the Nsuta site have proved futile.

A group of suspected illegal miners were trapped after heavy rains Sunday caused part of the mine to cave in. Five people managed to escape from the 80-meter (88-yard) deep pit without injury.

The government of this West African nation has been combating illegal mining in the past few years and started a campaign in March to end it.