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.
“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.