At least 59 people were killed and 100 others injured in a massive explosion at a gold mining site in Burkina Faso on Tuesday.
The explosion was believed to have been caused by chemicals used to treat gold stocked at the site.
The provisional toll of casualties was provided by regional authorities following the blast in the village of Gbomblora, though rescue officials said they could be more.
A forest ranger, Sansan Kambou, who was at the site during the explosion, said he saw bodies everywhere.
He said: “The first blast happened at about 2:00 p.m., with more explosions following as people ran for their lives.”
Gold is the mainstay of Burkina Faso’s economy, making the West African country the fastest growing gold producer in Africa and fifth largest in the world with the mining industry worth about $2billion in 2019.
The country’s mining industry employs about 1.5 million people.
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