Tanzania: 22 miners killed in a landslide

A tragedy in Tanzania. Twenty-two artisanal miners died in a landslide in a mine in the north of the country, rescue workers were told on Sunday. The tragedy occurred in a mine in the Bariadi district, in the Simuyu region, more than 500 km north of the capital Dodoma.

« As we bring rescue operations to a close, the death toll stands at 22, all men, » Faustine Mtitu, acting head of the region’s rescue services, told reporters on Sunday afternoon.

« We are convinced that there are no more bodies trapped in the debris, » said the President Samia Suluhu, adding that safety measures had not been respected at the mine site. Earlier, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan had announced « with great sadness » the death of 21 miners and paid tribute to their memory.

« These fellow Tanzanians were artisanal miners from the area, trying to earn a living for themselves and their families, and contributing to the development of the country, » she had written in a message posted on X. The rescue official gave no details of the exact circumstances of the accident, and it was not clear when it happened.

Tanzania is the continent’s fourth-largest gold producer, and mining accidents are not uncommon, with miners often lacking adequate safety equipment. In January 2017, 15 of them were rescued after being trapped underground for two days, following the collapse of their artisanal mine.

For several weeks, Tanzania and other East African countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have been experiencing torrential rains linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has displaced over a million people in Somalia and left over 300 dead in the region.

Alex Khatib

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