After 39 days of searching, the bodies of four miners were discovered in a gold mine in Burkina Faso, according to a government spokesman.
Last month, flood waters trapped eight miners hundreds of metres underground in the Canadian-owned Perkoa mine.
Soon after, rescue operations were launched to locate them. The mine is over 710 metres deep (2,329ft).
The government expressed its condolences to the victims’ families and the local communities in a statement issued Tuesday night.
The search for the remaining four missing miners is ongoing.
Trevali Mining Corp. announced on April 16 that eight miners, six from Burkina, a Zambian and a Tanzanian were missing following a “flood” underground at a zinc mine at Perkoa, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the capital Ouagadougou.
A rescue operation was launched immediately with the help of the fire brigade and military engineers while rescue efforts have focused on trying to pump out the floodwater, which followed heavy rain.
Prime Minister Albert Ouedraogo, in a visit to the site at the weekend, blamed “irresponsibility” by those in charge at the mine.
He alleged that several days before the accident “dynamite was used on the open-air (part of the) mine, which weakened the (underground) gallery and enabled the flooding.”
Ouedraogo said there would be an inquiry to find out who was responsible. Mine officials would not be allowed to leave the country in the meanwhile, he added.
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