Committee set up to probe fatal Talensi mining pit collapse

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The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, has set up a Committee to probe the latest mining collapse in a pit at the Gbane mining area of the Talensi District, which resulted in the loss of nine lives.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Thursday, June 3, 2021, Mr. Yakubu indicated that, the Committee, made up of the Police Commander, the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), Minerals Commission, the chiefs, a member of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), some miners and some mining engineers, will commence investigations on Friday, June 4, 2021.

“I have set up a committee of enquiry. We want to go deep down and assess the situation. The committee starts work on Friday.”

He also said the activities of miners in the area would be suspended temporarily to make way for the investigation.

“The committee is expected to come up with their report within two weeks. The activities of the miners will be suspended for that period. We want to first come up with modalities to safeguard the miners.”

Nine bodies were retrieved two days after a rescue mission by a joint security team together with officials of the National Disaster Management Organization, (NADMO).

Police say the deceased were miners trapped in a pit at the Moabok mining site following a downpour on the night of Monday, May 31, 2021.

The Upper East Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), ASP David Fianko-Okyere, told Citi News efforts are underway to ensure that everyone who was trapped has been retrieved.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that no other person is still trapped dead or alive.”

He also assured of the provision of maximum security in the mining area.

In the meantime, the police say no arrest has been made.

This is not the first time, a pit in the area has caved in killing miners.

In March 2020, an illegal mining pit at Yamsok, a suburb of Yameriga also in the Talensi District, killed one person and injured another.

The deceased, Pii-Naab Joel, aged 20, and a native of Yamsok, was mining in an illegal mining pit with his colleagues when the pit caved in

Other collapsed mining pits in Ghana

In November 2020, an illegal small-scale mining pit in the outskirts of Ayanfuri in the Central Region collapsed and trapped eight persons between the ages of 24 and 35 years.

The illegal miners were rescued by residents and rushed to the Dunkwa on Offin Government Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

A similar situation was recorded in October 2020, where five persons died when they were trapped in a mining pit at Ayamfuri in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central region.

15 others who were also trapped in the cave sustained varied injuries after the incident.

Obuasi: Anglogold Ashanti retrieves body of missing miner

Just recently, Anglogold Ashanti retrieved the body of a miner, who together with other workers were trapped about two weeks ago after an underground mining pit caved in.

The underground mining pit is part of the concession of Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine.

The company in a statement said the miner’s body was retrieved on Saturday, May 29, 2021. It however did not give further details about the deceased.

The company says “a thorough investigation into the incident has been initiated”.

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