Four people were trapped after a gold mine collapsed in the early hours on Thursday in western Kenya.
The incident in Kakamega county initially saw 12 artisanal workers trapped for hours.
8 of the victims were rescued by the morning, following hours of digging by community members and they are said to be in stable condition.
The miners were operating at an aged mining tunnel and were unlicensed by the local government, according to the authorities, local news reported.
“What they are doing is risking their lives and most of the people here are mostly youth who are doing this work. Due to the unemployment problem, people are putting their hands on anything that can put food on their table,” Kakamega county commissioner John Ondego said.
He added that mining at night time will no longer be allowed.
Incidents of collapsed mines are rampant in parts of western Kenya.
In January this year, a gold mining company said that three workers have been killed after a blast in western Kenya and blamed illegal mining activities, the Associated Press reported.
Karebe gold mining company said in a statement late Monday that a wall built to prevent flooding and illegal incursion was blasted by illegal miners, causing an explosion.
Three other workers were injured and hospitalized for treatment. Their conditions weren’t immediately available.
In 2020, four miners were killed and 15 injured after a gold mine collapsed in Migori.