Four miners suffocate to death in goldmine

Four miners suffocated to death while two others were rushed to hospital in a critical condition in Nyatike District, Migori County, after they were trapped in a goldmine.

The miners were trapped after a faulty generator they were using to pump water from an underground gold mine failed and started emitting smoke.

Survivor Agina Arek said: “It would not pump water out of the ground. Several miners went to pump water but when the machine became faulty, some came out, leaving two others underground,” said Arek.

Police said they could not immediately establish the type of poisonous gas, though it is assumed to be carbon monoxide.

The first two victims died after choking due to the gas and their bodies were retrieved from the mine. But more tragedy befell them when other miners on a rescue mission succumbed after running of out breath in the Wednesday evening incident.

As the rescuers, were trying to retrieve the bodies, two others collapsed, and died on the spot.

Yesterday, Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga blamed the disaster on mines, which were abandoned by foreign commercial miners.

“It is a sad situation and we appeal to residents to be cautious and avoid exploring such channels in search of gold. It is killing my people and we need action taken,” he said. Mr Anyanga asked National Environmental Management Authority to ensure commercial miners rehabilitated mines to curb accidents and deaths.

Public education

“I appeal to the Provincial administration to consider the plight of the poor families and assist with funeral expenses and public education on such dangers.” the MP said.

Arek said as they removed the unconscious miners, the lethal gas affected two rescuers.

“We then came out with the first two bodies and two were unconscious, who we rushed to the hospital,” he added.

The gas was lethal, forcing the miners to postpone the retrieving exercise to Thursday morning, when the two remaining bodies were removed. Two other survivors were taken to Nyatike District Hospital, where they were treated and discharged.

Nyatike OCDP Samuel Anampiu said the mine near Aego Shopping centre, is over 150ft deep.


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