At least 16 killed in Ghana mine collapse: Police

ACCRA (AFP) - A mine collapse in Ghana's central gold-producing region has killed 16 people who were working illegally and had been told to leave by the operator, police told AFP on Tuesday.

"They retrieved 16 bodies," area police commander William Otu said of Monday's disaster near the town of Kyekyewere.

The operator had completed its work in the area and had returned only to shut down the mine and affirm its claim to the land, commander Otu added, without identifying the company.

They found several people from the local community mining illegally, who refused when asked to leave.

Not long after, "the operator got information that the mine caved in and covered the people," the police commander said.

The west African nation of about 25 million people is one of the world's top gold exporters.