At least 18 people have been killed after informal gold mine collapses in western Guinea

At least 18 people have been killed as an informal gold mine collapsed in western Guinea, authorities said.

According to Ousmane Gaoual Diallo who spoke to the press on Thursday, the accident took place Monday in Gaoual, about 386km from the capital Conakry. In recent months, miners have flocked there in search of gold to pan.

“For the moment, 18 bodies have been extracted and we are not finished yet. Rescue operations continue,” Diallo told reporters.

Accidents are common at so-called artisanal mines across West Africa, which operate without much oversight or regulation.

Last May, at least 15 people were killed in a similar incident at an artisanal gold mine in the northeastern region of Siguiri.

At least 17 clandestine miners were also killed in a landslide in February 2019 and another dozen nine months later.