Ghanaian officials have confirmed the death of five people after a mining pit collapsed on them.
The incident occurred in a community called Anyafuri Gyaman in the Upper Denkyira West District, according to local media reporting.
Officials said Thursday’s incident happened when the small scale miners were prospecting for gold in the central part of the country.
At the time of the accident, about 20 miners were busy mining at the site, according to officials.
15 others who were rescued are said to be in critical conditions after sustaining injuries.
The miners were reportedly mining in a pit that belongs to a mining company operating in the area.
A local disaster management official, Mr Isaac Gyasi told local news outlet Citi FM that “At around 3 pm yesterday [Thursday] we had information that some illegal miners who were operating between Ayanfuri and Gyaman in the Upper Denkyira West had died after the mining pit they were working in caved in.”
“Rescue team involving the Police and NADMO moved to the area and were able to rescue the 20 illegal miners but unfortunately for them, five persons died in the process,” Gyasi was quoted as saying.
Illegal mining is a major issue in Ghana, with miners often dying in similar circumstances due to unsafe mining practices.
It has been difficult discouraging people from engaging in illegal mining with the government in recent years declaring war on the menace.