Police deny Bankyease galamseyers death toll

The police have denied media report that 15 illegal miners, popularly known as galamseyers, were trapped to death when a pit caved in at Bankyease, in Patriensa, near Konongo in the Asante Akyem North District of Ashanti, on July 23, this year.

The police have indicated that two illegal miners lost their lives in the incident, after a rescue mission to recover bodies ended on Tuesday.

Earlier, it was not clear the number of operators, who went down the pit, but some illegal miners, claimed they were about 15.

However, the police indicated that when the exercise ended, it was discovered that only four galamseyers were trapped.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Ken Yeboah, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, confirmed the story to the the Ghanaian Times.

He said Mallam Yelpie, 32, and another man yet to be identified died, while Abdulai Mumuni, 30, and Alhassan Fuseini, 25, survived, when the pit caved in, adding that the survivors were admitted at Konongo Hospital.

Earlier on, Superintendent of Police, Ohene Boadi Bossman, Konongo Divisional Police Commander, said the police have secured excavators to dig the pit to establish the number of illegal miners trapped beneath.

“We hope to establish the number of those who were trapped hence a rescue team and excavators sent to the scene,” he said.

Currently, government has placed a ban on illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’in the country, but that seems not to have stopped some miners from operating.

Ghanaian Times gathered that despite the ban, illegal mining had been going on at Patriensa and its environs, in the night.

The incident at Bankyease, in Patriensa, near Konongo occurred last week night.

This has come barely two months after a similar incident occurred at Prestea in the Western Region, where about 21 bodies of illegal miners were covered in a pit after  efforts to rescue them failed.

From Kingsley E Hope, Kumasi





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