Burkina mine death toll rises to 63

59

The death toll from an accidental explosion at an illegal gold mine in southwestern Burkina Faso rose on Tuesday to 63, the authorities said, adding that they had made an arrest.

“We have 63 dead and around 40 injured,” the public prosecutor in the town of Gaoua, Alpha Compaore, told AFP. A hospital source put the number of injured at 70. A previous toll announced on state television late Monday said there were 59 dead.

The dynamite blast occurred at a clandestine gold mine at Gomgombiro.

A local resident said it happened in an area that was used to store contraband sticks of dynamite but also served as a market for the miners, a local resident said. The explosion left a large crater and uprooted trees, the resident said. Compaore said one person had been arrested and may be charged with accidental manslaughter. “We hope that this person will be able to provide an explanation about the circumstances and causes of the explosion,” he said. “The explosion took place in a miners’ market, where there are products that are dangerous, prohibited or banned by the law, such as cyanide or dynamite,” he said, adding that some homes had been levelled by the blast.—APP

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