Update: 17 confirmed dead in collapsed mine
April 15, 2013, 13:25 GMT
Seventeen persons have been confirmed dead after a reclaimed mine caved in at Kyekyewere near Dunkwa-on-Offin, in the Central Region at about 10a.m on Monday.
Sixteen bodies comprising two females and 14 males said to be between 18 and 50 years were retrieved from the collapsed pit.
But one of six persons who were rescued died on the way to hospital. The remaining five who are in critical condition are currently on admission at the Dunkwaw Government Hospital.
The assemblyman for Kyekyewere Electoral area, Jacob Aboagye had told Adom News that more people are feared trapped in the pit which belongs to a private mining firm.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Upper West Denkyira, Kofi Owush Ashia who confirmed the accident to Joy News said the mining company is owned by Gold First Mining Enterprise.
He said the mining firm applied for a license to operate, but has not been permitted to work there. "Until you get the license you don’t work," he said.
He said about 30 persons were there when the mine caved in. He noted that until the incident, all efforts to drive the illegal miners away 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.
Four workers, a machine operator and the owner of the site have been invited by the Police to assist in investigation.
Among the deceased are a couple, a mother and her son who was a second year student at the Dunkwa Senior High School.
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.
“By our custom we don't work here on Tuesday”, the MCE said, adding that apart from today the rescuers can only continue their search on Wednesday.
But Luv News’ Erastus Donkor who visited the scene said from the look of things it would be impossible to find any more survivors now.
Inspector Daniel Adu Gyamfi who is leading the rescue team told Joy FM’s Top Story he doubted there could be some people buried in the pit.
“I am not suspecting there is anybody underground again,” he said.
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