Authorities say 17 people are dead after an accident at a gold mine in central Ghana.

Local official Peter Kofi Owusu-Ashia told The Associated Press on Tuesday that 20 others had been rescued Monday afternoon.

Owusu-Ashia said authorities did not believe that anyone remained trapped inside the area but he said efforts would resume Tuesday at the site.

The deaths happened in Kyekyiwere, in the Upper Denkyira district in Ghana's central region.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, and police promised to launch an investigation. Authorities have said that the miners were working there illegally at the time.