The collapsed mining pit in Prestea-Nsuta in the Western Region has been sealed off completely, as per word given earlier by a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, though there are bodies buried underground.
After the mine collapsed on Sunday, one miner was rescued alive while another, who had died, was drawn out by rescuers.
A stench has been emanating from the pit dashing hopes of rescuers as well as residents of any survivors.
Speaking earlier in an interview with 3FM’s Collins Essuman on Thursday, Deputy Lands Minister Benito Owusu Bio said the only option left was for the pit to be sealed.
The Member of Parliament explained that the pit would be sealed according to the mining policy, which allows such an action in such situations.
He said the open pit with the stench poses health risks to residents in Prestea-Nsuta.
He justified the action, still, by saying that if the pit is not sealed, others will be tempted to go to the same spot to mine.
‘More than 22 bodies trapped’
Later speaking on 3FM’s News Hour, a local journalist on location, Joseph Amarh Quaye, said the pit was sealed with sand Thursday afternoon.
He said rescuers confirmed the number of the trapped to be even more than 22.
According to him, each miner is usually said to be accompanied by “a boy” and so the 17 earlier reported may be understated.
The reporter also pointed out that other mines – numbering more than 50 – have been sealed as part of the exercise on Thursday.
The pit collapsing on Sunday proves that illegal mining is still ongoing despite intensive efforts by government to crack down on the canker.
Speaking on Sunday after the unfortunate incident, the Nsuta District Police Commander, Spt. Atsu Dzinaku, who confirmed that the pit was 80 meters deep, said the survivors will be held to aid investigations.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana