An accident at an eastern Rwanda mine on Monday killed 14 people, including seven women, a local government official said.
“This is an unfortunate event that nobody expected. The accident happened when falling debris at the mining site buried all the 14 people and killed them instantly,” Jean Claude Rwagasana, the official from the Mwulire region told AFP.
He added that rescuers arrived shortly after the incident but could find no survivors. Seven women were among those killed.
The accident took place at a cassiterite mine, a mineral which, along with coltan, is a vital component for the production of phones, digital cameras and electronic products.
Deadly accidents at Rwanda’s mines are not uncommon, with 27 miners killed in 2017, government statistics show.
Last October, eight people were killed and four wounded in a mine collapse in southern Rwanda’s Muhanga district.
Rwanda’s mining board has blamed the industry for the deaths, saying many mines’ underground tunnels lack support and that firms are slow to implement safety standards.