BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) -- The leader of Central African Republic has declared three days of mourning after dozens of miners were killed when a gold mine collapsed.
A total of 27 people died when the gold mine in the central region of Ouaka collapsed due to heavy rains on Sunday, said Paul Feizoure, the local commander of the Seleka rebel movement now in control of the government.
He said that mining at the site was banned following a landslide that killed 16 miners there in 2009, but that poverty had driven local residents to resume mining activities.
Central African Republic is mineral-rich but remains desperately poor and wracked by political upheaval. The most recent government overthrow took place in March, when thousands of rebels ousted the president of a decade.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.