Deadly gas kills galamseyer, others collapse at Gbane

One illegal miner, popularly known as ‘galamseyer’, died while four others collapsed, after inhaling deadly gas from a mining explosive at Gbane in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

The body of the deceased was deposited at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital mortuary for autopsy, while the four, who collapsed were resuscitated at the same health facility.

Last year, seven illegal miners were reported dead after inhaling poisonous gas from a mining explosive, when they invaded the Shaanxi Mining Company’s concession in Gbane to drill and blast for Ore at the place.

The calamity necessitated the visit of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu, to the site.

He directed that the Chief Inspector of Mines, the Minerals Commission, the Regional Police Command and the Regional Coordinating Council to ensure the closure of the three pits that were used by the illegal miners to enter the  company’s concession.

The sector Minister also directed the setting up of a committee to investigate the issue, to help prevent further disasters.

This disaster again had prompted the Inspectorate Division of Minerals Commission to conduct preliminary investigations to establish the cause of the accident, and to recommend appropriate action to deal with the phenomenon.

Speaking to the media at the mining site at  Gbane, on Tuesday,  three officials  of the Kumasi branch of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission, said they were at the disaster site to conduct investigation into the matter, but declined to talk to journalists.

The Underground Mine Manager of the company, Mr. Thomas Tii Yenzanya, stated that between 150 and 200 illegal miners invaded the company’s concession daily by drilling and blasting to steal ore.

He explained that their drilling and blasting affect the supporting pillars mounted by the company and could cave in anytime.

The Public Relations Officer of the company, Mr. Maxwell Wooma,, said that most of the illegal miners were school children, and appealed to authorities to close the three mining pits used  by the illegal miners.

He said the staff of the company were threatened by the illegal miners, and called for adequate security for the company, to enable the company to continue to operate, and to support government in job creation.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, GBANE

 

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