General News of Friday, 7 July 2017
The National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Bernard Mornah has described as unfortunate the suspension of rescue efforts to retrieve bodies trapped in the collapsed mining pit in Nsuta in the Prestea Huni-Valley district of the Western region.
According to the deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benita Owusu-Bio, the rescue operations have been abandoned due to the weak nature of the pit.
The pit has since been sealed.
In his reaction, however, Mr. Mornah expressed disappointment in government’s reaction when the news of the caving in of the pit came to its notice.
According to him, government’s response to the tragedy will have been different if those involved were people of stature in the country, saying but “it is not the case with us particularly when the poor are involved. We treat it with the contempt that we normally do and I feel very sad.”
He added: “I’m sure that assuming one of our ministers and I don’t pray any, was trapped in any situation you can imagine the national uproar in wanting to get the minister out of such situation. About 14 people we are told are trapped in the pit and we have called the operations quit.”
He said in Mexico and other places when such incidents happened oxygen is pumped into the pits to make sure that if there are survivors they will be able to breathe while efforts are being made to get them out.
But unfortunately we are seeing the opposite in Ghana, he bemoaned, saying “we have condemned them because they are involved in galamsey and I feel sad about it.”
The mining pit collapsed on Monday, killing 17 illegal miners as a result with their bodies trapped under the rubble. Five people managed to escape successfully.