April 17, 2015 / 4:33 PM / 4 years ago

Collapse of illegal Tanzanian gold mine kills 19 people

DAR ES SALAAM, April 17 (Reuters) - The collapse of an illegal gold mine has killed 19 people in northwest Tanzania, a senior police official said on Friday.

The accident occurred on Thursday night at Kahama district, Shinyanga region, near Acacia Mining’s licensed Bulyanhulu gold mine which is majority-owned by Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. The bodies were recovered on Friday.

“The small-scale miners were buried alive after the tunnels they were digging collapsed. All the bodies have been recovered,” Justus Kamugisha, Shinyanga region’s police chief, told Reuters by telephone.

He said police had asked for help from Bulyanhulu gold mine in the search for survivors.

Unsafe and unregulated illegal mining is widespread in Tanzania, which is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Edmund Blair and Andrew Roche)

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