2nd miner dies underground in a week (Fiji)

ANOTHER worker of the Vatukoula Gold Mines Ltd died yesterday morning from injuries he suffered in a work related accident.

This brings the number of deaths at the gold mining site to two within a space of seven days.

A statement from VGML said the victim was initially injured when a rock fall occurred at the mine on August 7.

Police and officials from the Mineral Resources Department have been advised and investigations into the incident which caused the rock fall are expected to commence soon.

“Further details can be released only after the next of kin have been advised and exhaustive investigations concluded,” said VGML general manager David Whittle.

In a separate incident, a fatality occurred on August 14 underground in the Decline Shaft 8l Fuel Bay.

The incident was being investigated when news of the second fatality was announced yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Trades Union Congress has urged the government to include mine workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony said there was no justification for the exclusion of workers involved in the most hazardous work from the OHS Act when it came into effect in 1996. “Over the years there have been a number of deaths and serious injuries, many of which go unreported,” he said.

He said mining had been a major contributor to Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product and it was unfair that mine workers had long been excluded from the protection they surely deserve.



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