General News of Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Four persons were last Monday afternoon trapped to death in an illegal mining pit at Obengkrom in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region.
The police said the area where the incident took place was not known for illegal mining activities but was currently receiving illegal miners, popularly called ‘galamseyers’, from nearby districts and other places to operate on the blind side of the community.
The police told the Daily Graphic that the four victims, two males and two females, had been pulled out of the collapsed pit.
The police gave their names as Nicholas Abaido, 37; Thomas Kwofie Kobby, 30; Monica Aba Mensah, 28, and Comfort Cudjoe, 27.
The Ellembelle District Police Commander, Superintendent Thomas Bayor, said preliminary investigations revealed that the four were not indigenes of Obengkrom but came from the adjoining municipality – Nzema East.
The incident, he confirmed, occurred about 4:30 p.m. last Monday.
He said the police were later informed about the incident and they rushed to the scene, but the victims had died by then and the police could only retrieve their bodies from the pit.
Asked if the area was known for the illegal ‘galamsey’ activities, Supt Bayor responded in the negative, saying it was not one of the known hotspots for illegal mining activities in the district.
He urged those flouting the law to desist from it, stressing that galamsey was still prohibited in the country.
The bodies of the victims, he said, had since been deposited at the Axim Government Hospital morgue awaiting autopsy.