Several dead in the collapse of an abandoned mine in Sudan

At least 38 people were killed Tuesday when a disused gold mine collapsed in West Kordofan province, according to Sudanese authorities.
The country’s state-owned mining company said in a statement that the collapse of the closed and non-functioning mine took place in the village of Fuja, 700 kilometers south of the capital Khartoum. It added that there were also injuries, without giving a precise figure.
The local press reported that several shafts had collapsed in the Darsaya mine and that in addition to the dead, at least eight injured people had been taken to a local hospital.
The mining company posted images on Facebook showing local residents gathering at the site as at least two dredges worked to find possible survivors and bodies.
Other images show people preparing traditional graves to bury the dead.
The company said the mine was not operational but that local miners had returned to work after the security forces guarding the site left. It did not say when the mine stopped working.
In its statement, the Sudanese Mineral Resources Limited Company asked troops to guard the site to prevent unregulated mining. It also called on local communities to help it resume mining operations in the area, which were suspended in 2019. It did not provide details.
Sudan is a major gold producer with numerous mines scattered across the country. In 2020, the East African nation produced 36.6 metric tons, the second-highest output on the continent, according to official figures.