8 Suffocate to Death at Mine in Burkina Faso

FRCN Abuja

Police in Burkina Faso have used tear gas against unauthorised gold miners at the Nordgold Bissa mine, causing eight people to suffocate to death.

A prosecutor for the state said on Thursday that some 40 miners were on the site last Wednesday, when the police fired tear gas, which “caused panic and the suffocation of the clandestine gold miners”.

Wendyam Lambert Sanfo said charges for involuntary homicide would be brought in the case, but he did not specify against whom.

Four people were also arrested on charges of burning 10 vehicles on the site.

The police said in a statement on Monday that they had discovered the bodies of six miners at the mine but did not mention firing tear gas.

Nordgold, a Russia-focused miner majority owned by Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov and his sons, did not immediately comment on the incident.

A Reuters report said landlocked Burkina Faso and its neighbours have experienced a gold rush in recent years as informal miners, starved of other well-paying economic opportunities, dig for ore in often dangerous conditions.

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