Galamsey: Two confirmed dead

File photo: Lives have been lost to galamsey[/caption] Two persons have been confirmed dead after an illegal mining pit caved in at Petrensa in the Asante Akyim Central Municipality of the Ashanti Region. Two others also suffered various degrees of injury while they were digging for gold. The Monday dawn incident has been blamed on a weak pit and the support for galamsey activities by chiefs and landowners in the area. Information gathered by our news team at the site indicates other illegal miners could still be trapped in the pit as a team from the police and the Owari Mines at Konongo strive to save the situation. The deceased have been identified only as Abubakar, 35years and Mallam Yalpie, 30years, all residents of the Petrensa community. The two other injured have been admitted to the Stewards Hospital at Yaw–Kwei and responding positively to treatment. The tragic incident occurred at 2:00 am Monday when the galamsey operators descended into the trenches to prospect for gold. The disaster comes three weeks after another pit caved in on some galamsey operators at Prestea area in Western Region. Read: This comes on the heels of government’s renewed fight to clamp down on illegal miners in the country. The galamsey activities have led to the destruction of the country’s forest reserves and river bodies. Security personnel and NADMO officials at Konongo, the municipal capital, told the tragedy could be blamed on the recalcitrance of the victims to suspend small scale mining. Nadmo Zonal Director for Petrensa, Ofosu Kwabi, said most of the galamsey operators were mining Sunday night until they were driven away from military and police officers. But the deceased among other residents returned to the mining pit after the officers had left. He said the accident scene serves as wind break of the community to prevent disaster. A galamsey operator, Adjei Collins, says he has given up in the business to look for a different job. According to him, he is still in poverty after engaging in galamsey activities for years. The Asante Akyim Central Municipal Coordinating Director, Michael Opoku Nkansah, expressed grave concern about the return of illegal mining operators in the area. The Konongo Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Ohene Boadi Bossman, said his unit will intensify patrols to prevent the galamsey operators from returning to the site. According to him, they will be compelled to use an excavator to dig deep into the pit in search of more bodies. A meeting of all the security agencies and stakeholders has been scheduled to find a new strategy to fight the menace in the area. By: Benjamin Aidoo || Kumasi|]]>

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