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Ghana mine collapse: 17 people confirmed dead as many still missing / Africa News

Ghana-Mine-CollapseRescue official in Ghana have confirmed to reporters that at least 17 people are dead after an old mine site collapsed at Kyekyewere in the Central Region of Ghana.

16 bodies comprising two females and 14 males said to be between 18 and 50 years were retrieved from the collapsed pit on Monday evening.

Six persons were rescued out of the pit but one died on the way to the hospital in the District capital of which officials said he suffered severe injury.

The remaining five are thought to be in a very critical condition and are currently on admission at the Dunkwaw Government Hospital.

The assemblyman for Kyekyewere Electoral area, Jacob Aboagye told reporters in the capital Accra that more people are still feared trapped in the pit which belongs to a private mining firm.

The Municipal Chief Executive for the Upper West Denkyira Assembly Kofi Owush Ashia also confirmed to Joy Fm in Accra that the mining company is owned by Gold First Mining Enterprise, a private mining firm.

He said the mining firm applied for a license to operate, but has not been permitted to work there as at now. “Until you get the license you don’t work,” he said.

He also said due to the traditional laws of the land, they do not work on Tuesday and so therefore rescue operation will be suspended till Wednesday.

“By our custom we don’t work here on Tuesday”, the MCE said, adding that apart from yesterday,  the rescuers can only continue their search on Wednesday.

He said about 30 persons were believe to be in the pit when the mine collapsed but noted also that until the incident, all efforts to drive the illegal miners away by security officials were fiercely resisted by the miners.

Personnel from the Fire, Police and Immigration Services as well as the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) have frantically been searching for survivors till they found the dead bodies and those injured.

Four workers, a machine operator and the owner of the site have been invited by the Police to assist in investigation yesterday.

Mr. Ashia said rescuers would have to do their best to get more survivors or retrieve the remaining bodies before the team winds up for today.

Mine collapse is common as last year the country recorded one of the highest casualties in mine collapse in Africa.

Ghana is rich in gold compelling some residents who live around the gold deposit area to engage in small scale illegal mining including Chinese.

It has been one of the government priority areas to stop illegal mining but its efforts are drawback by the connivance of some chiefs and unscrupulous individuals living around the gold deposit areas.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

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