Four missing miners found dead in Burkina Faso

Wednesday May 25 2022
Mining Bukinabe

Search crews have been working 24-hours a day, according to the Canadian mine owners

By AFP

Rescuers in Burkina Faso have found the bodies of four of eight miners missing since mid-April when their shaft flooded, the government said on Wednesday.

The disaster struck on April 16 at a zinc mine owned by Canada's Trevali Mining in Perkoa, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the capital Ouagadougou.

Six Burkinabe, a Zambian and a Tanzanian went missing in the shafts 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground.

"Unfortunately, after 39 days of intense searches, the lifeless bodies of four miners have been found," government spokesman Lionel Bilgo said in a statement.

"It's sad and painful news for us," Robert Bationo, a relative of one of the dead miners, told AFP.

"We hope the others will be found alive quickly, or if not their bodies so we can mourn, because the chances are slim."

Advertisement

Another relative, Alexis Bama said he was left with a "feeling of anger".

"We need to find out who was responsible and bring justice to these poor workers who must be dead from the negligence and greed of some managers," he said.

The search continues for the four miners who remain missing.

The government statement did not specify the nationalities of those whose bodies were found.

Rescue teams have for weeks been pumping out water from the mine, with extra support and equipment being brought from Ghana.

It was hoped that the missing miners had been able to make it to a refuge chamber 580 metres underground, which was equipped survival kits including water, food and medicine.

Prime Minister Albert Ouedraogo, in a visit to the site at the start of May, blamed "irresponsibility" by those in charge at the mine for disaster and the government launched an inquiry.

The families of several of the miners have filed cases against persons unknown for attempted manslaughter, endangering life and failing to assist a person in danger.

Vancouver-based Trevali is a metals mining company with four production operations, in Canada, Peru, Namibia and Burkina