Death toll from Ghana gold mining accident rises to 13: The death toll from an explosion in a gold mine in northern Ghana has risen to 16, a local official said on Thursday.
Ibrahim Seidu, a community leader in Gbani town, where the accident occurred on Wednesday, told dpa that rescue workers were still searching for bodies.
Seidu said: “The search for more bodies is still on.
“Our prayer is that some of the miners are still alive.”
The victims were illegal miners, who were working near a mine run by the Chinese-owned Shaanxi Mining Company.
On Wednesday, hospital staff had placed the death toll at 13 people.
“When workers of the mining company blasted explosives in an effort to mine, the illegal miners were choked to death by the smoke of the blast,” the medical administrator of the local Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, Patrick Atobrah, told dpa.
It remained unclear how many illegal miners had been on site during the explosion.
Ghana’s Minerals Commission ordered the immediate closure of the mine on Wednesday, pending an investigation into the accident.
Illegal gold mining, although prohibited, is common in central and northern Ghana, where most of the population lives in poverty and unemployment is high.
The West African nation, known for its cocoa, is among the top 10 gold producers worldwide.