The bodies of four miners have been found in a zinc mine in Burkina Faso after a 39-day search.
Eight miners were trapped by floodwaters last month in the Canadian-owned mine in Perkoa, located about 120km west of the country’s capital, Ouagadougou.
The floods followed unexpected torrential rains on 16 April. Since then rescuers have worked tirelessly to pump some 165 million litres of water from the flooded chambers.
It took the rescue team 31 days to reach the first rescue chamber, located at about 560m- in which the missing miners might have sought refuge from the floodwaters.
But when the chamber was opened last week, none of the men – six Burkinabès, a Zambian and a Tanzanian – were there.
A second chamber is located right at the bottom of the 710m mine.
In a statement, the government sent its condolences to the families of the victims and to the local communities.
Search operations are continuing to find the other four missing miners.