KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Three miners were killed and 10 were trapped underground when a gold mine they were working at in northern Sudan collapsed, the state’s Sudanese Mineral Resources Company (SMRC) said in a statement on Friday.
It said three others were injured in the accident, which happened on Thursday night in Qabqaba, a main gold mining area in the Nile River state where both licenced companies and individuals dig for the precious metal.
Gold mining is one of the main sources of foreign currency in the impoverished country, and most of it is done using traditional methods, often with few safety measures.
The country produced around 100 tonnes of gold in 2017, according to official Sudanese figures.
SMRC, which supervises the country’s mining sector, said rescue teams were in contact with the trapped miners, who had been working on their own.
“As of the writing of this statement, there are 10 (miners) who are trapped inside the mine and they are alive,” the statement said, adding that rescue teams from the company and the Nile River state were working to get them out alive.
It said the three injured miners were in good condition.
“The company asserts its concern for the safety of all workers in mining and urged those working in mining in the country to make sure they follow safety regulations to ensure their safety,” it said.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Alison Williams)