Eighty feared dead in Ghanaian mine disaster

ACCRA, June 28 (Xinhua) — A total of 80 miners trapped at the Central Region of Ghana were feared dead after they escaped from a flooded mining pit to another one which later caved in, a local official and witnesses confirmed on Monday.

An official of the Regional Coordinating Council, Kwame Oppong told Xinhua that information available to the council said the miners are part of about 120 miners in the illegal mine who escaped to an adjoining mine pit after water gushed into the one they were working in on Sunday at Dunkwaw-on-Offin.

“Suddenly, the second mine also caved in trapping at least 80 of them,” he stated, adding that rescue operations were underway hoping to find some survivors. However witnesses told Xinhua that given the nature of the disaster, finding survivors was almost impossible.

Oppong said that the Fire Service had been deployed to pump water out of the illegal mining pit to save those trapped since 2 p.m. on Sunday. But regional fire officer Augustine Dankwa told Xinhua that the fire station in the district was ill-equipped to deal with the emergency situation.

There were no fire tenders at Dunkwah, and those of Obuasi, the nearest fire station had also broken down, he said.

According to Dankwah, the fire tenders had broken down over six months ago but parts could not be procured to repair them.

He however said the District Fire Officer of Dunkwa and a safety officer had been deployed to assess the situation so appropriate measures could be taken.

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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-06/28/c_13373977.htm


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