Rescue workers have found no survivors in a rescue chamber deep inside a flooded zinc mine in Burkina Faso, the government and the mine owner said on Tuesday, all but extinguishing hope that eight missing miners could still be alive after a month, APA reports citing Reuters.
The Perkoa mine, owned by Canadian firm Trevali Mining Corp (TV.TO) and located about 120km (75 miles) west of the capital Ouagadougou, was abruptly submerged on April 16 after torrential rain fell unexpectedly during the country's dry season.
There had been faint hope during a month-long search and rescue operation that the missing men might have reached the rescue chamber, which is stocked with food and water and located around 570 metres below ground.
"The rescue teams have opened the refuge chamber, unfortunately it is empty," the government's information service said in a statement posted on social media.
Trevali said the refuge chamber had been found intact, and it was now clear none of the eight missing workers had reached it.
"This is devastating news, and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to our colleagues' families and friends during this difficult time," said Ricus Grimbeek, President and CEO of Trevali, in a statement.
"We will continue our search efforts unabated and reaffirm our commitment to work at full-speed to find our colleagues."
Distraught relatives of the missing men have been gathering every day at the site in the Sanguie province, seeking solace from each other as they faced the agonising wait for news.