General News of Monday, 3 July 2017
At least 14 illegal miners are said to be trapped in a mine at Prestea-Nsuta in the Western Region.
The miners, numbering 19, were believed to have been trapped since yesterday after a heavy downpour.
Only five of the miners successfully came out from the collapsed pit, Nsuta District Police commander, Superintendent Atsu Dzinaku confirmed to Joy News’ Evans Mensah.
It is not clear if the trapped victims are still alive or dead. Rescue efforts are underway to attempt to rescue possible survivors.
According to Superintendent Dzinaku the pit in which the victims are trapped is about 80 meters deep. The residents are leading the rescue mission, the district commander confirmed.
The police are currently interrogating two out of the five victims who escaped unhurt.
The collapse is the latest in many mining disasters that have been recorded in the past. It comes at a time government is waging war on illegal mining across the country.
Superintendent Dzinaku cannot say if the mine in question is a galamsey mine. According to him, “it is a small scale mining site.”
Early this year, the government announced a ban on all small scale mining activities in order to streamline operations and to prevent illegal mining activities.
A number of arrests have been made and escavators owned by the galamsey miners have been seized by the government taskforce set up to fight the illegal mining.
The Nsuta pit collapse will provide extra motivation for the country to fight and possibly end the illegal mining activities which have destroyed the country’s environment and water bodies.