Three illegal miners who sneaked into the forest of Brumase, near Prestea in the Prestea-Huni Valley District in the Western Region, died instantly when the mining pit in which they were working collapsed on them in the early hours of Sunday.
The dead include the pit owner, Joseph Yeboah, 34, and two of his female labourers, who were identified as Efua Atta, a hearing-impaired person, and Atta Kyeremanteng.
The only survivor, Mercy Danso, 36, is currently receiving treatment at the Prestea Government Hospital.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Prestea-Huni Valley District Police Crime Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mr Emmanuel Nwinsori, said Yeboah had contracted the three females about 11 p.m. on Tuesday and started working in the pit with them until 4 a.m. when the accident occurred.
He said Mercy, who had been out of the pit with a load, was about to re-enter it when it collapsed on the three.
Realising that her colleagues were trapped, she managed to pull herself out and started shouting for help. But unfortunately, the three perished before she could get to the roadside to call for help.
Asked why the illegal miners had gone to work in the pit in the night, Mr Nwinsori explained that as a result of the clampdown on illegal mining in the area, many illegal miners operated under the cover of darkness and worked until the next day.
The situation, he said, had resulted in a number of deaths, which could have been avoided.
Source: Graphic Online