ACCRA, (Xinhua): Sixteen illegal Ghanaian miners including two women were killed in a mine pit collapse and another one died at hospital Monday near the gold mining town Dunkwa in Ghana’s central region.
Ghana’s state media Ghana News Agency reported that the accident happened in a mining landsite at Kyekyewere, a suburb of Dunkwa. The victims were between 18 and 50 years old.
It was reported that more people are feared trapped in the pit. Personnel from the Fire, Police and Immigration Services as well as the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) are frantically searching for survivors.
According to Chief Superintendent Otu Larbi, Municipal Police Commander, Mr. Abu Sadique who owns the God First Mining Enterprise in the Kyekyewere community, had closed operations after six months of work on that concession and was reclaiming the land.
He said the group from Kyekyewere and its adjoining community, Amoafo, went to the site that morning and threatened the excavator operator who was in the process of filling the last portion of the land to leave that part for them to mining.
One local radio station reported that the wall surrounding the pit collapsed on the illegal miners as they dug under the pit for gold.
Ghana, the second largest gold producer in Africa, produced 4.2 million ounces of gold in 2012, the highest in the history of the country.