The pit in which they were mining caved in.
An Accra-based radio station, Joy FM, reported that the accident happened at Kyekyewere, near Dunkwa-on-Offin, in the Central Region.
It said the bodies retrieved so far comprised two women and 14 men, aged between 18 and 50 years.
The assemblyman for Kyekyewere Electoral area, Jacob Aboagye, said more people were feared trapped in the pit which belonged to a private mining firm.
The broadcast said personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Services as well as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were frantically searching for survivors.
Many illegal miners are trapped in pits throughout the country annually because of the hazardous conditions under which they work.
They have ignored repeated advice to stop their illegal activities that also degrade the environment and pollute water bodies, as they leave pits uncovered, degrade the land and use dangerous chemicals in their work.
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