A 15-member rescue team was deployed on Tuesday to search for survivors after 14 miners died in a collapsed mine in Ghana’s Western Region on Monday, according to police, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.
Locals had managed to rescue three miners trapped in the collapsed old mining pit in Prestea-Huni-Valley district on Monday.
The government has outlawed small scale mining, which is commonly known in Ghana as galamsey. It is an unregulated industry patronized by many Ghanaian youth and Chinese nationals in the gold reserves of the country’s Western, Central, Eastern and Ashanti Regions.
Local youth usually move in to mine in the abandoned pits leading to disasters.
“We are trying to retrieve the bodies. There were a few survivors. Those who escaped death are the eyewitnesses so they briefed us that they were coming out [of the pit] when all of a sudden they heard the noise which means the pit caved in,” District Police Commander Supt Atsu Dzineku said, according to Accra-based Citi FM.
“It is an old galamsey pit and they sneaked in to operate when this happened,” Dzineku said.
Several illegal miners have died in Ghana in recent times after old and abandoned mining pits caved in.
Two people died in a similar incident in the Eastern Region in 2016.