Khartoum, Sudan (CNN)Rescue workers in Sudan are working to recover the bodies of dozens of workers who were killed in a gold mine that collapsed in the remote West Kordofan province, a mining official said.
At least 32 killed in gold mine collapse in Sudan
Khaled Al Dahwey, the director of the government-owned Sudanese Mineral Resources Company, told CNN on Tuesday there were 36 people at the gold mine when the accident took place Sunday. One person survived, he said.
Authorities are still searching the 20-meter (66-foot) site for bodies, Al Dahwey said.
Sudan is in the throes of a long-standing economic crisis and has led some to resort to risky practices in underdeveloped regions to try to make a living, Reuters reported.
"The company specifies to the miners a certain depth to dig gold wells, but they do not abide by these restrictions," Al Dahwey said, adding that collapses like this "often occur and lead to loss of life."
Gold is Sudan's most valuable export, with mining one its biggest industries.
More than two million miners work in more than 800 locations across the country, according to the latest government statistics.
Independent gold mining has been on the rise in Sudan since 2011, when South Sudan separated from Sudan -- taking with it most of the country's oil revenue.