Five people have died after a 750-foot gold mine shaft collapsed in Rongo, Migori County, on Tuesday afternoon.

Confirming the incident, Rongo Deputy County Commissioner George Otenga said the five were among 18 others trapped in the mine shaft.

Further, he revealed that rescue efforts managed to pull out all the miners.

The first six to be pulled out were rushed to Rongo Sub-County Hospital, where three were treated and discharged. Owing to the magnitude of their injuries, three others were referred to Migori County Referral Hospital.

Otenga says the locals and county team conducted the search operation, and by 10 p.m., all the people in the mine were accounted for.

“It is unfortunate that we lost 5 of the miners. 13 miners were rescued alive, some are still in hospital while others were treated and discharged.”

He says two miners died while receiving treatment at the hospital, while three others were pulled out of the mine already dead.

Additionally, Otenga announced that government officers are heading to the mine file to assess the situation.

“Mining officers and officers from National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) are heading to the mining site,” he said.

He called upon miners in the sub-county to be cautious while at the minefields noting that some sites are dangerous to operate on.

Otenga says the team heading to the ground will close minefields that do not meet the government’s safety standards.

“The officers will speak to the miners on the ground, mines which conform to the safety and precaution measures will be told on what to check out to avert such fatalities,” he said.