Not less than 15 people have been reportedly killed during the weekend after a landslide at a clandestine artisanal gold mine in Guinea’s northeast Siguiri region
According to eyewitness reports, the overhang rock collapsed near the village of Tatakourou,rescuers and witnesses did not clearly establish whether the victims had been crushed by falling rock above the mine or buried inside the facility.
A Red Cross official on site confirmed that at least 15 people had been killed but did not rule out possibilities that others had been buried at the mine entrance.
Sinaman Traore, a gold panner at the mine, said he had seen volunteers rescue two colleagues.
While arriving at the scene, Police Captain, Mamadou Nitre remarked that “this situation in the Siguiri mines concerns all of us; at the end of the day these landslides are more deadly than the Covid-19 pandemic,”
At least 17 clandestine miners were killed in a landslide in February 2019 and another dozen nine months later.
Despite the country’s rich deposits of minerals such as bauxite, diamonds and gold, the bulk of the population faces a daily struggle to survive.
The search for gold riches attracts clandestine miners from Mali, Senegal and several other West African neighbours.