At least 15 people have been killed by a landslide at a clandestine gold mine in Guinea’s north-eastern Siguiri region.

Overhanging rocks collapsed on Saturday morning, crushing some victims and burying others inside the mine.

A government spokesman has said the “exact circumstances and causes of the tragedy” will be investigated.

A local Red Cross official said two women were among the dead and that it was likely more bodies would be found.

“This site is already mined by machines. The miners had struck too far in. That’s how the earth, being very badly suspended, gave under,” Djanko Dansoko is quoted as saying by news site Guinee360.

There are hundreds of unofficial “artisanal” mines around Siguiri, where gold is laboriously panned by hand and safety standards are low.

This particular site is near the village of Tatakourou, about 40km (25 miles) from the city centre of Siguiri.

Seventeen miners were killed in a landslide in Guinea two years ago, and a dozen more nine months later.

The search for gold attracts clandestine miners from Mali, Senegal and other West African countries.