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30 feared dead as mine site collapses on 50 persons in Niger

.7 victims saved as rescue operations on-going, says Alake

No fewer than 30 miners trapped at a mining site in Galkogo Community, in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, are feared dead.Our Correspondent gathered that one of the mining pits belonging to African Mineral and Logistics Ltd, in the area collapsed on over 50 miners, who were working at the site, on Sunday night.

Giving details of the on site collapse, a source who did not want his name to be mentioned said; “The pit caved in after a torrential rainfall on Sunday and several of the the Miners were buried underground.

From what we gathered, the site manager of the mining company, Ibrahim Ishaku was one of those trapped.

“We also learned that a middle age man simply called Kuta  who was the chief security officer to the mining company died while trying to rescue some of the victims.”

However, there are conflicting figures on the number of miners trapped and declared dead.

While the villagers were trying to rescue the miners suspected to have been trapped, another portion of the mining pit caved in and the villagers took to their heels and left the victims to their fate.

“Because of the second pit that collapsed, it is suspected that no fewer than 30 of the miners must have been buried underground,” told our source.

The Public Relations officer of Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, Mallam Hussaini Ibrahim confirmed the incident in a statement issued in Minna yesterday but could not give the exact figures of the casualties.

The mine site  belongs to a company named “African Minerals and  logistics limited” and  the collapse was as a result of the rainfall impacts that soften the soil.

“Due to the unacceptable nature of that environment as a result of banditry, information on the incident is still very scanty including rescue operations but we gathered that one person has been confirmed dead, ,six people were rescued with severe injuries, while about 30 others which include the site manager, Ibrahim Ishaku were still trapped as of yesterday,” the PRO declared.

As at the time of going to Press,  excavators have been deployed to the scene for rescue operations.

Rescue operation on-going — Alake

Reacting to the incident, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, yesterday said that his Ministry has swiftly mobilized Federal Mines Officers and officials of the Mines Inspectorate to the site and that seven victims have been rescued.

Alake said: “Upon learning of the incident, we mobilised our Federal Mines Officer (FMO) and officials of the Mines Inspectorate to the site. In collaboration with the mining company, we have rescued seven victims, some with injuries. Rescue operations with excavators are ongoing to ensure we avert loss of lives.”

He said they are closely and actively monitoring the situation at the mining site and assured Nigerians of the Federal Government’s resolve to investigate the remote causes of the disaster in order to prevent a recurrence in the future.

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