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Dynamite kills illegal miner, injures 3 others

BY: Samuel Kyei-Boateng
Library photo
Library photo

An illegal miner has died while three others sustained serious injuries through a dynamite explosion at Akyem Amenam in the Birim North District in the Eastern Region last Friday.

The body of the miner, whose name was given only as Marfo, aged about 45 years, has been deposited at the morgue of the New Abirem Government Hospital for autopsy.

The three injured persons who are yet to be identified have been admitted to the same hospital for treatment.

According to a police source, the four illegal miners were trapped in a mining pit when they returned to check on the state of the dynamite they had planted beneath the rocks.

Underground

He said the four miners went underground on realising that the dynamite had failed to go off at the expected time.

According to the police source, the illegal miners had been blasting gold-bearing rocks in the area for some time now.

He said Marfo died in the pit during the blast with his severed leg hanging from his Wellington boot when the police rescued the three surviving miners.

When the District Chief Executive for Birim North, Mr Raymond Damptey, was contacted by the Daily Graphic, he confirmed the incident and said the mining company belonged to the Akyem Asenehene, Nana Karikari Apau.

Company not illegal

When the Daily Graphic contacted Nana Karikari Apau, he also confirmed the incident.

He, however, denied that his mining company, called Amenam Gold Mining Group, was operating illegally.

He said the company was registered with the Minerals Commission.

Meanwhile, the Oda Divisional Police Command is investigating the cause of the incident and is also finding out whether the mining company is properly registered.