3 killed in galamsey pit, 40 more trapped

Some three persons were killed when an illegal small scale mining pit caved in on them Wednesday morning at Bremang in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region.

The three include  a male and a female, all adults and a young girl believed to be about age ten.

Eye witnesses say about 40 more persons were all trapped beneath the caved pit.

Locals, security agencies and a team from the National Disaster Management Organization, (NADMO) have embarked on a rescue mission to bring out all the trapped persons alive.

“We pray that we can remove them on time to save them, but those we have even retrieved have already died so we are helpless and don’t even know what to do… At this time, we have been able to retrieve only three bodies and they have been handed over to the police,” Assembly member for the area, Francis Agyapong, told the media.

The three dead persons have since been sent to the morgue for ahead of autopsy.

News that some persons engaged in illegal small scale mining had been trapped to death which  in the act has sparked some public anger because the news comes at a time there is a governmental ban on all illegal small scale mining activities.

Government has done all within its means to stop galamsey activities which is causing havoc to the country’s water bodies and destroying vast arable lands.

The Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul recently complained that the persons involved in illegal small scale mining have adopted a new strategy of going to the sites at night to mine on the blind side of security agents.

Dominic Nituwul has  warned that as Minister responsible for Defence he cannot guarantee the safety of such midnight illegal miners and therefore they should stop their activities immediately.

“We know and we know the towns where they are doing that so we would come after you. Don’t try it. And in the night, for the safety of the soldiers, I cannot guarantee your safety. No soldier would go out in the night without trying to protect himself. So if you go out there to mine in the midnight, I cannot guarantee your own safety when the soldiers apprehend you. Don’t go out. It is not worth it. The person sending you should himself go with you to do the mining. Ask him to send his children with you first”, Minister Nitiwul told journalists in Accra on Wednesday.

“They go at midnight and engage in Changfans activities and come back during the day. That is how brave they are”, Dominic Nitiwul stated and repeated his warning that the safety of such category of illegal miners cannot be guaranteed.

The Defence Minister justified the decision to set ablaze excavators and other mining equipment found on all illegal mining sites.

He said it was not as though the Ghana Armed Forces or government officials take pleasure in seeing the excavators burn but the decision is in the interest of the country else within the next two to three years, all rivers and water bodies along the Southern belt of the country would go extinct.

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