At least six illegal miners in Ghana have died after a pit in which they were digging for gold collapsed on them, Ghanaian police have reported.
A deputy superintendent of Police, Richard Salifu, made the announcement on Tuesday in Accra.
The report said the accident occurred on Monday in the Ashanti Region, one of the four that have been experiencing a big increase in illegal mining which has destroyed the environment and polluted sources of drinking water.
Police said that there were 10 illegal miners in the pit when it collapsed and that one of them managed to escape.
“Six died and three were rescued and were being treated at a local hospital. They were digging for gold on a concession belonging to a mining firm, the Oweriman Mining Company,” Salifu said.
He said the victims were trapped about eight metres underground after they must have set off an explosive device to blast rocks.
Reports say illegal miners being trapped in pits is a regular occurrence and does not deter those engaged in it.
However, the government has set up a task force comprising mainly security agencies to halt the menace in the country, mainly in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central regions.