BNI, Police officials visit Gbane mining site after blast killed 7

A delegation of security officials has visited the Gbane mining site in the Upper East Region where an underground blast last Thursday led to the death of seven people.

The visit by the Police and Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) officials forms part of on-going investigations into the circumstances that led to the death of the residents.

Joy News has learnt the officials held meetings with management of Chinese Shaanxii Mining that is providing some technical support to miners in the area and some residents.

The deadly blast has revived a feud between local miners and the mining company operating in the area.

Although similar blasts within the past five years have been deadly, their intensity could not be compared to last Thursday’s incident, a local miner has said.

The miner told Joy News’ Upper East Regional Correspondent, Albert Sore, they have an arrangement with the Chinese backed mining company to conduct its blast from 10 p.m to 12 a.m.

He explained this was done to avert any danger since they start their activities from after 12 a.m.

But the arrangement, he said, was ignored by the Chinese who blasted their mine at the time they were at work. The seven are said to have died after they inhaled a toxic fume from the blast.

This account has been dismissed by management of the Shaanxii Mining Company, who accused the local miners of misinforming the public.

PRO of the company, Maxwell Woma, said their attention was drawn to the incident after some residents were sent to the Tamale Regional Hospital for treatment.

He said the BNI contacted them and after they ran checks at their mines they realized the incident had nothing to do with them.

“Normal work went on at our mines on Thursday and Friday…we had not recorded any accident in any of our underground mines,” Mr Woma said.

The police have appealed to residents to desist from acts that might affect the relationship between them and the mining company.

The Talensi Police Chief has called the two parties to collaborate with them as they investigate the matter.