At least 200 people were killed when a trench collapsed at an unofficial gold mine in Sierra Leone, the West African country's Ministry of Mineral Resources said on Friday.
The accident occurred in the Bo district in the south of the country, about 180 miles from the capital, Freetown.
Below are some of the world's worst mining disasters:
China holds the record for the largest number of people killed in a single mining disaster. On April 26, 1942, 1,572 people were killed in an explosion at Honkeiko coal mine.
SOME RECENT MAJOR MINING DISASTERS:
* August 1990 - BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - 180 coal miners are killed after a gas explosion causes the main pit shaft to cave in at a colliery in Dobrnja, near Tuzla.
* April 1991 - CHINA - A gas explosion kills 147 coal miners at the Sanjiao River mine in Shanxi province in northern China.
* March 2000 - UKRAINE - At least 80 miners are killed in a methane gas explosion at Barakova coal mine in Luhansk -- the country's worst mining disaster since independence in 1991.
* October 2004 - CHINA - The Daping mine in Henan province explodes, killing 148.
* November 2004 - CHINA - A gas explosion tears through the state-owned Chenjiashan Coalmine in Shaanxi province; 166 miners are killed but more than 120 escape.
* February 2005 - CHINA - A gas explosion at the Sunjiawan colliery of state-owned Fuxin Coal Industry Group kills 214.
* November 2005 - CHINA - A gas explosion kills 169 people at state-owned Dongfeng coal mine in Heilongjiang province.
* September 2006 - INDIA - Fifty miners are killed after the roof of a coal mine collapses following an explosion in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
* September 2006 - KAZAKHSTAN - At least 41 people are killed after an underground explosion at Mittal's Lenin mine.
* March 2007 - RUSSIA - Blast rips through Siberian coal mine, killing at least 110 people.
* May 2007 - RUSSIA - Thirty-eight miners are killed in a methane explosion at the Yubileynaya mine in Siberia.
* September 2007 - CHINA - Coal mine shaft floods in the eastern province of Shandong, killing 181 miners.
* October 2007 - SOUTH AFRICA - Some 3,200 miners are trapped underground at a South African mine belonging to the world's fifth biggest gold producer.
* November 2007 - UKRAINE - A methane explosion rips through a mine killing at least 100 miners.
* September 2008 - CHINA - A mudslide caused by the collapse of a mine waste reservoir in northern China kills 254.
* November 2009 - CHINA - An explosion at a coal mine in northeast China kills at least 92.
* March 2010 - SIERRA LEONE - At least 200 people are killed when a trench collapses at a gold mine in Sierra Leone.
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)