Two artisanal miners died and one suffered serious injuries after they were buried alive at the Macalder gold mines on Thursday evening.
They were among a group of eight when the walls of the mines caved in on them.
Rescuers removed two dead bodies while another miner who was critically injured was rescued at 9pm and rushed to Migori County Referral Hospital.
On Friday morning, rescue operations were still going on at the scene to recover four more people who were still trapped in the mine.
Nyatike Gold Miners Association chairman Kephas Ojuka said the rescue mission started in the evening immediately after the incident occurred.
“We are keen on saving the four others who are trapped underground,” Mr Ojuka said.
Incidents of gold mines caving in have been on the rise following heavy rains in Migori County in the past few months.
“I am calling on miners to remain vigilant, especially during this rainy season when the walls of the mines tend to be weak. We have witnessed several deaths,” Mr Ojuka said.
Gold mining in Migori County is largely informal, with about 8,000 artisanal miners taking part in trade despite the health hazards associated with it.
A majority of those involved in artisanal mining are unemployed young people trying their hand at the risky business to earn a living.
A 2018 report from the Alliance for Responsible Mining, compiled in conjunction with the United Kingdom, said artisanal and small-scale mining remains a significant source of employment for many Kenyans.
“About 146,000 people were working in small-scale mining by 2012 in Kenya as large-scale mining companies employed about 9,000 workers,” said the report published in 2018.
The report estimated that the mining sector in Kenya is largely informal but produced around 60 per cent of the country’s gemstones, gold, quarried stones and other construction materials.
In 2015, the share of mining in the country’s GDP was 0.8 per cent. The government wants to raise that to 10 per cent in its Vision 2030, through value addition, implementation of mining and minerals policy and the Mining Act, 2016.