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At least 31 killed in gold mine accident

Sunday, August 10, 2008

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso -- At least 31 people were killed in a mudslide at an unofficial gold mine in Burkina Faso, according to the national radio service.

There are thousands of unofficial mines, or bush mines, in West Africa. Villagers eke out a living, risking their lives to descend deep chutes and then use mercury to force the gold out of the dirt. The mines are especially treacherous during the monsoon season.

According to radio reports, the landslide was brought on by heavy rains in the mining village of Boussoukoula in southwest Burkina Faso. Local authorities were digging for survivors.

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