Explosion at gold panning site kills at least 55 in Burkina

Burkina Faso is in mourning, struck by a tragedy. The explosion of a stockpile of dynamite at an artisanal gold site has killed at least 55 people in the southwestern region of the country, according to the High Commissioner for Poni Province, Antoine Marie Sylvanus Doamba, who s went to the scene of the tragedy. A hospital source advanced the same figure, announcing in addition to having identified at least 55 injured, including women and children.

The accident occurred on Monday afternoon at the Gomgombiro gold panning site. “The balance sheet could increase since the injured are still in critical condition and their vital prognosis is seriously engaged,” said a medical source. National television, for its part, announced a provisional death toll of 59.

“Horror Scenes”

“The victims were killed by an explosion caused by a fire in a storage area for contraband dynamite sticks” which also “acts as a market on the gold panning site”, explained a resident of Gomgombiro. He described “horror scenes”, uprooted or charred trees and a “wide crater” at the scene of the tragedy. According to a judicial source, the prosecutor of Faso went to the scene for the usual findings, and “an investigation has been opened to determine the circumstances” of the tragedy.

Despite the ban on gold panning, which regularly causes deadly landslides, the authorities are struggling to control uncontrolled gold mining, carried out by 1.2 million people, according to official figures. Although declining, gold production has become in a dozen years the first export product of Burkina Faso, whose main export product was previously cotton. The official gold sector has some 15,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs. But the artisanal sub-sector, also called gold panning, employs 1.5 million people, and generates an additional annual production of around 10 tonnes of gold, according to the Ministry of Mines.

Read Also:  Ukraine Set to Join EU as Negotiations Progress

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here