Second miner dies after Barama River tree crash

Another miner succumbed yesterday following a mining incident in the Upper Barama River in the North West District on Monday. Relatives of 43-year-old Ewert Michael Alleyne, of Grant Adventure, Lower Pomeroon, told Stabroek News yesterday that the father of six, who was on his first trip to the North West when tragedy struck on Monday, died while he was being air-dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH); he was transferred to the city hospital from Port Kaituma yesterday and was pronounced dead on arrival in the city shortly after 1 pm.

Another miner, Anand Pooran, 32, of Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, and Moruca in the North West District passed away on Monday afternoon after he along with Alleyne, Heston Boyce, 18, of Charity, Essequibo Coast, Jason Williams also of Charity  and Clifford Joseph, of Friendship, Lower Pomeroon were injured after a tree fell in a mining pit in which they were working at the mining concession. An excavator was being used to clear a section of the mining pit when the machine struck the tree which fell into the pit.

Williams’ condition is said to be serious and relatives told Stabroek News yesterday at the Suddie Hospital that medical staff stated that his condition was deteriorating. Boyce, who sustained a broken left hand and Joseph, were discharged from the Suddie Hospital as their injuries were not serious.

Alleyne’s relatives told Stabroek News that the man only travelled to the interior location some two Fridays ago to work with the dredge operation owned by Henry DaSilva.

His sister Anola Alleyne, who along with other relatives gathered at the hospital yesterday to view her brother’s remains, stated that the man’s spine was broken while he suffered other internal injuries.

His younger brother Shawn Alleyne meantime was yesterday admitted to the GPH after he sustained severe cuts to his left instep during a boat accident on Monday evening. He said that he and two other persons were on their way to Port Kaituma from Moruca to assist in transporting his injured brother and his colleagues to Georgetown when the boat hit a log along the river around 8:30 that evening.

In pain, the man related that he was seated at the front of the boat and while in the vicinity of an area known as ‘99’, the boat capsized. He said that the boat spun in the water and the engine’s propeller caught his left foot. His foot was bleeding profusely yesterday at the hospital. He was taken back to Moruca for treatment and was subsequently air-dashed to the city.

DaSilva told Stabroek News that the men began to work on Monday after arriving at the location some three days earlier. He said that he was going to stand all expenses associated with the incident.

There have been a number of incidents, some with fatal consequences, in the mining districts across Guyana in recent times. On October 27, 49-year–old  Charles Anthony Simon, known as ‘Corporal’, of 111 Miles Mahdia, Potaro Road and of Lot 53, Kendall Street, Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara died on the spot after a tree fell on him while he worked at a mining pit at Mahdia. Simon and the two workers were working in a pit in the area and as he walked around in the crater a tree located at the top of the pit fell on him.

There was also the incident in which French geologist Guy Rigottier-Gois, a director of River Gold Guyana Inc, died in the Konawaruk Backdam on April 3 last year. On July 3, 2008, miner Phillip France, 21, of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo died shortly after a sandbank in the Mazaruni area collapsed, burying him in the pit where he had been working. And on October 12, last year machine operator Leon Clarke, 59, of Hopetown Village, West Coast Berbice, died at his Mahdia worksite.

Police said the man was operating an excavator in a 40-feet deep pit when it caved in and covered him. In March this year, Karan Roopnarine, 32, of Triumph, East Coast Demerara and Keith Hibbeizt, 32, a Jamaican national who resided at Long Creek, Linden Soesdyke Highway, were both pinned at the bottom of a deep pit after its walls caved in while they worked in a mining pit at While Hole in Mahdia.

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) have been working to curb such incidents within the mining areas.


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