Gold mine collapse in northern Kenya kills 5 people-Xinhua

Gold mine collapse in northern Kenya kills 5 people

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-25 19:30:30

NAIROBI, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Five people were killed on Friday following the collapse of a gold mine in the northern Kenyan county of Marsabit, according to local officials.

Marsabit County Police Commander Patrick Mwakio told Xinhua by telephone on Saturday that search and rescue efforts at the gold mine have intensified amid reports that more miners may be trapped.

The deceased miners died on the spot when they were buried by debris while digging for gold despite a government order banning mining in the region, Mwakio said.

"The miners ignored the government's directive and ventured into the mine, which had been classified as a disturbed area," said Mwakio, adding that the Hilo gold mine, located near the Kenya-Ethiopia border, has been a focal point for gold mining activities, attracting young people in search of a livelihood.

However, due to safety and security concerns, Mwakio said the government ordered the closure of the mine in March.

Intercommunal skirmishes in the Hilo mining area in March left seven people dead amid allegations of drug trafficking by criminal gangs involved in illegal mining activities.

According to local officials, artisanal miners used heavy machinery to crush stones, ignoring environmental hazards, while the tunnels they used to access the mining fields were considered unsafe.