By Saliou Samb
CONAKRY (Reuters) – At least 18 people were killed when an informal gold mine collapsed this week in western Guinea, the government spokesman said on Thursday.
The accident took place Monday in Gaoual, about 386 km (240 miles) from the capital Conakry, where miners have flocked in recent months to pan for gold.
“For the moment, 18 bodies have been extracted and we are not finished yet. Rescue operations continue,” government spokesman Ousmane Gaoual Diallo told reporters.
Accidents are common at so-called artisanal mines across West Africa, where they operate without much oversight or regulation.
At least 15 people were killed in a similar incident at an artisanal gold mine in northeastern Guinea last May.
(Reporting by Saliou Samb; writing by Nellie Peyton; editing by Alison Williams and Jason Neely)