Hill collapse on mine in Rwanda kills at least 14 people

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JOHANNESBURG, January 22 – At least 14 people, among them seven women, have been killed after a hill collapsed on a mine in the eastern Rwamagana district of Rwanda.

Confirming the Monday morning incident, a local administration official Jean Claude Rwagasana told The East African that there were no survivors.

“The falling of debris killed all 14 people at the mining site. Rescuers were not able to find anyone alive. It is a very unfortunate event and we send condolences to the families of the deceased,” Rwagasana said.

The bodies were taken to the Rwamagana hospital.

British company, Piran Rwanda, which has a 25-year licence for two concessions in Ntunga and Musah in the Eastern Province, is the owner of the mine.

According to Rwagasana, the company had installed all the necessary safety precautions. The last mining accident in the area took place in 2017 but there were no casualties.

Rwanda Mines Petroleum and Gas Board last year introduced stringent laws to ban artisanal mining and to attract “serious” investors who can afford modern practices that protect both miners while avoiding harm to the environment.

The minerals cassiterite, coltan and wolfram generate $373 million for Rwanda annually.

– African News Agency (ANA)