The lifeless body of one of the eight miners trapped underground since April 16 in a zinc mine in Burkina Faso was found on Wednesday June 8, bringing the number of dead discovered to seven, the Burkinabe government announced.
“It is confirmed by the authorized services that a seventh body has indeed been found”, indicates a press release from the government which adds that the search “is continuing in order to find the last body”.
Earlier, government spokesman Lionel Bilgo had announced the discovery of the eighth body, before changing his mind, saying that the Perkoa mine authorities who had passed on the information had been “mistaken”.
The eight miners – six Burkinabés, a Zambian and a Tanzanian – were trapped on April 16 at the bottom of this mine west of Ouagadougou and operated by the Canadian company Trevali Mining, after torrential rains which flooded the galleries underground where they worked 700 meters underground.
On May 28, the bodies of two miners were found 43 days after their disappearance at a depth of 580 meters. Four days earlier, four other minors were first found. The nationality of the deceased minors has not yet been established, according to the government.
Since their disappearance, no contact had been made with them, but rescuers have long hoped that they had taken shelter in a “chamber of refuge” located 580 meters deep, where survival kits including water, food and medicine are usually stored. Rescuers discovered the chamber empty on May 17, dashing hopes of finding the miners alive.