From as low as 5 deaths in the early hours of Wednesday, January 23, the death toll, following an accident at the Gbane mining community reached 13 by afternoon of the same day, according to members of the community.
The accident happened at the dawn of Wednesday and as at 3:00pm, some 7 other miners were still in critical conditions and receiving treatment the Upper East Regional Hospital in the Bolgatanga Municipality.
The last time a mining related accident occured in the Gbane Community was in October 2018 where a staff of a mining support company, Shaanxi Mining Company, lost his life while working underground.
The Wednesday accident is the first to be recorded in the Gbane Community in 2019.
Community members are accusing the Chinese mining support company, for the deaths of their relatives, saying the company deliberately blasted underground to get the small scale miners to inhale the dangerous gas from the blast.
A Deputy Public Relations Officer of Shaanxi Mining Company, Bognaab Ebenezer who has been talking with the media since the accident occurred, denied any wrong doing, stressing that the miners might have blasted themselves and got trapped by the poisonous gas.
The Deputy PRO, also accused the local miners of causing the death of their colleagues and called on the Police to arrest one Akwesi Bantama to ask him, how five dead bodies got to his concession.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Paul Ayittey who led a team of Police officers to the Gbane community said, investigation is pointing to the fact that, the deceased inhaled a poisonous gas, which resulted from an underground blasting.
Police has announced that Akwesi Bantama has been invited to help in investigation into how five dead bodies were found on his concession.
What the Police is yet to ascertain is which concession blast resulted in the generation of the poisonous gas.
Meanwhile, the Deputy PRO confirmed that the Shaanxi company blast every night at 10:00pm which is known to the community and all other miners in the area.
According to him, the local miners also blast when and suspects that it was their blast that went wrong resulting in the death of their colleagues.
He noted that, the company is aware of only one case which also occurred on the same day and the person involved, was rushed to a hospital in Bolgatanga and was responding to treatment.
He said the company’s men went for their routine observation underground after the blast and came across a man lying helpless and was brought out and rushed to a hospital in Bolgatanga. He suspects that, the young had gone in to steal ore from the company’s concession.
Source: a1radioonline.com | 101.1MHz | Ghana