At least two miners have been killed from suffocation in a 21.5-meter-deep gold mine in Tanzania’s western highland region of Rukwa, police said on Saturday.
Ralph Meela, the acting Rukwa regional police commander, said the duo died when they tried to pump out water from the mine.
Meela said the accident occurred on Friday at 3:30 p.m. (13:30 GMT) at Kalundi village in Nkasi district in Rukwa region.
“The victims suffocated after they switched on a water pumping machine to pump out water from the mine, but the pumping machine produced smoke that suffocated them,” said Meela.
He said a rescue mission by the Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force proved fruitless because it could not reach the miners who were 21.5 meters deep.
Meela said police were holding a 52-year-old owner of the mine for running the gold mining business without a valid mining license.