Rescue efforts are underway to retrieve about 40 illegal miners after an illegal mining pit they were working in caved in and left three others dead. The deceased include a man, a woman and a girl believed to be 10 years old.
The incident is said to have happened at about 5 am, Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at Breman, a mining community in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region.
An eyewitness witness said the deceased have been sent to the Dunkwa Government Hospital Morgue for preservation
“If you come to upper Denkyira West, an area called Denkyira Breman, this morning, around 5 am, we heard that a pit had collapsed in there. So we rushed to the scene to see things for ourselves. Indeed when we got here, 3 found three people dead. About 35 to 40 people are trapped underneath collapsed pit. The deceased have been sent to the Dunkwa Government Hospital Morgue for preservation” the eyewitness said.
Speaking to Accra based Starr FM, District Director of NADMO Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region Isaac Gyasi said illegal miners were carrying out the illicit activity in the night due to the ban on their operations by President Akufo-Addo as he makes a second attempt at dealing with the menace.
“I heard the information in the morning so I was supposed to there as Director to ascertain the facts. So when I went there, they were illegal miners. They went there last night. They were doing it in the night because the president gave directive that they should stop. So they sneakingly went to the scene to work.
“And unfortunately the pit caved in. We saw nine Changfang machines they are using to operate. And rather unfortunately people working for 4 of those machines were 44. And majority of them those who dominate in terms of gender are females. So, each machine is having about 11 people who work on it, so roughly 4 machines will give us 44. So in the course of the activity when they tried to dig the hole the pit caved in. And unfortunately about 40 were buried”.
He added that they had challenges securing an excavator to carry out the rescue operation due to the latest decision to burn on site excavators found in illegal mining areas. But they have finally secured one to carry out the operation.
“The interesting aspect is that because the soldiers are burning the excavators, you go to their place for hiring, they refuse to give it to you. So they have to give a letter to those giving the machines out so that they can try to help us. Right now we have gotten one of the excavators are we moving to site”.