Prestea Mine Collapse: Why Mass Burial Was Given to Trapped Victims

The Prestea mine collapse victims were given a mass burial as rescue team could not find the 22 trapped persons… 

The illegal miners who were trapped in a Galamsey pit at Prestea in the Western Region have been given a mass burial. This was after search and rescue team indicated that their bodies could not be retrieved.

A mine collapse which took place at Prestea Nsuta, Western region claimed over 14 lives and left up to 17 trapped underground. The Police who commenced investigations as well as embarked on search operations were unable to find the trapped/missing persons.

For this reason, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources conducted a mass burial for the victims. The burial activities included a Catholic mass, Islamic and traditional prayers which offered the Prestea mine collapse victims. Following the full customary rites which have been performed, the Ministry will also seal the pit to avoid interference. This was confirmed by the Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister Benito Owusu Bio.

See: Why Army, Police Must Take Over Combat Against Illegal Mining

According to Owusu Bio, the Ministry with the help of Golden Star Resources Limited is piling rocks and debris on the pit such that no one can reach the pit. Speaking to Citi News, he also revealed that said that “the total number of victims we have now is 22 who we have identified by name and age” His confirmation corrects the earlier assertion that the numbers were; 14 dead victims and 17 trapped. Mr. Owusu Bio believes this incident should lead to an end to the illicit act of illegal mining.

The Prestea District Police Command is still conducting criminal investigations into the incident to arrest the culprits. This form of Galamsey as we have come to understand is very difficult to locate; making it tough for authorities to capture the culprits.

Deputy Minister Bio lamented on the prevailing rate of illegal mining in Ghana. He called on Ghanaians, particularly residents in the Prestea Huni Valley District to help end the illegality which is a huge threat to lives. He has appealed to the general public especially the people of Prestea and its environs to help authorities by actually locating where the galamsey sites are to enable them to get rid of such pits.