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38 killed in gold mine collapse in Sudan

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Dozens of people have been killed in the collapse of a defunct gold mine in Sudan’s West Kordofan province over the weekend, according to the country’s state-run mining company.

At least 38 people are dead, said Ismael Tissou, spokesperson for the Sudanese Mineral Resources Company, early on Wednesday.

Tissou said the exact number of people buried is not clear.

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Sudanese Mineral Resources Company Limited said in a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday that the collapse of the closed, non-functioning mine took place in the village of Fuja, in En Nahud locality, some 700km (435 miles) south of the capital, Khartoum.

Local media reported that several shafts collapsed at the Darsaya mine and that besides the dead at least eight injured people were taken to a local hospital.

The mining company also posted images showing villagers gathering at the site as at least two dredgers worked to find possible survivors and bodies.

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Other photographs showed people preparing graves to bury the dead.

The company said the mine had been condemned for being unsafe, and that it had been guarded for a while to ensure that no activity resumed in it. However, local traditional miners returned to work after security forces guarding the site left the area.

It did not mention when the mine had been condemned.

Collapses are common in Sudan’s gold mines, where safety standards are not widely enforced.—Al Jazeera

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