Dozens of people have been killed in the collapse of a defunct gold mine in Sudan’s West Kordofan province, according to the country’s state-run mining company.
Sudanese Mineral Resources Company Limited said in a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday that the collapse of the closed, non-functioning mine took place in the village of Fuja, in En Nahud locality, some 700km south of the capital, Khartoum. It said there were at least 31 deaths and also injuries, without giving a specific tally. Later reports put the death toll at 38.
Local media reported that several shafts collapsed at the Darsaya mine, and that besides the dead at least eight injured people were taken to a local hospital.
The mining company also posted images showing villagers gathering at the site as at least two dredgers worked to find possible survivors and bodies.
Other photographs showed people preparing tombs to bury the dead.
The company said the mine was not functional but local miners returned to work it after security forces guarding the site left the area. It did not say when the mine stopped working.
Collapses are common in Sudan’s gold mines, where safety standards are not widely in effect.