Dozens Trapped as Gold Mine Collapses in Northcentral Nigeria

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Dozens of workers are trapped in a collapsed gold mine in Nigeria's Niger state after heavy rains softened the soil. Rescue efforts face challenges due to the depth of the pit and poor working conditions in remote mining areas. Families anxiously await news as authorities continue their search.

Rescuers continued their search on Thursday for dozens of workers who were trapped underground when a gold mine collapsed in northcentral Nigeria, according to authorities and residents.

The collapse occurred on Monday in Niger state’s remote Shiroro district following heavy rains that softened the soil. State emergency services confirmed one fatality and reported at least 30 individuals missing, although residents claimed the number of trapped miners could be as high as 44.

Although northern Nigeria boasts abundant mineral resources, mining operations are plagued by corruption, illegal practices, and substandard working conditions due to their remote locations with limited government oversight.

Abdullahi Arah, head of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, described how first responders had to flee as the mine continued to collapse. Rescue efforts faced challenges due to the depth of the pit and the difficulty of accessing the trapped workers with heavy equipment.

Distressed families anxiously observed the rescue operation on Thursday as workers labored to clear the debris. One miner's brother, Auwal Suleiman, expressed concern for his brother and urged the government to intensify rescue efforts by deploying additional personnel and equipment. "There is a palpable tension here," he emphasized.