Fourteen illegal miners who were on the verge of losing their lives in an underground mining pit at Obuasi for 10 days, surrendered themselves to the police before the worst could happen.
They had run out of food and water during their illegal operations underground, as a result of which they became malnourished and weak.
After running out of water on the fourth day, and resorting to drinking untreated water flowing in the gutters of the underground mine for six days, the members of the group had no choice between dying in the mine and surrendering to the team patrolling on the surface.
The dying illegal miners, after managing to crawl to the surface at 5:30am yesterday, quickly surrendered themselves to the patrol team made up of police personnel and AngloGold Ashanti security officers, who sent them to the Arthur Cade Mine Hospital, for first aid, before handing them over to the Ashanti Regional Police.
They are Twurukube Adambo, 30, Joseph Akubila, 27, Kwaku Buni, 28, Kwabena Baffoe, 25 , Inusah Tahiru, 21 and Kofi Saga, 20.
Others are Suleman Noduno, 30, Abdul Razah, 19, Ibrahim Yaku, 28, Adongo lesuhe, 32, Zalesri Yere, 29, and Kofi Srihayene, 19.
“They were looking haggard, mentally and physically sick when we saw them, and they pleaded to surrender,” one of the security officers at the scene said.
He said the illegal miners, who had no mining lamps, helmets and safety gear, operated in a part of the Obuasi underground mine called Cote’ Dor mine, which is noted for its harsh conditions.
He said Adambo, who was the only one with enough strength to speak, told the security team that they realized they were in danger when he and his colleagues started vomiting blood.
Adambo, therefore, pleaded with the security team to save them from dying.
Meanwhile, the mine security is combing the underground to rescue and arrest their accomplices, who are believed to be hiding underground.