30 Persons Trapped In Collapsed Niger Mining Pit

30 Persons Trapped In Collapsed Niger Mining Pit

Thirty people have been trapped in a collapsed mining pit in Galkogo village of Shiroro local government area of Niger State.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the incident occurred on Monday night with one dead body recovered and six others rescued with serious injuries.

It was also gathered that the site belongs to a company listed among those banned from mining activities by Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago.

The state commissioner for mineral resources, Alhaji Garba Sabo Yahaya, based on complaints from local communities about the harmful effects of illegal mining on their health and livelihoods, had visited some mining sites in Galkogi and Kateregi Katcha local government areas and ordered the stoppage of mining for environmental and security reasons.

However, it was learnt that despite the ministry’s directive, the affected companies and artisan miners continued their activities.

A villager who preferred anonymity told LEADERSHIP that “recently the state Ministry of Mineral Resources, with the help of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) arrested those who were contravening the order, but the situation has persisted. We are tired of them being in various mining sites across the state, endangering the lives of our youths.”

The public relations officer of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Hussaini Ibrahim, said, “The cause of the collapsed of the mining pit in Galkogo was rainfall impacts that soften the soil.”
He said one person had been confirmed dead, six others rescued with severe injuries. At the same time, about 30, including the site manager, Alhaji Ibrahim Ishaku, are still trapped in the collapsed mining pit.
“The rescuers have to run for their lives as the mine kept falling inside Galkogo village of Shiroro LGA” he added while saying that the nature of the environment as a result of banditry, rescue operations has been very difficult.

However, he said excavators had been deployed for the rescue operations and promised that the details of the rescue exercise would be revealed later.
Meanwhile, the commissioner for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Ahmed Baba Suleiman Yumu and his permanent secretary, Barrister Mairo Mohammed Mann, have expressed sympathy for the victim.

A statement by the ministry’s director of media and strategy, Habibu Abubakar Wushishi, stated that “the ministry, in collaboration with other agencies and other professional stakeholders, is doing its best to see that the trapped miners are rescued even though it’s been over 24 hours since the incident occurred.

“The rescue efforts are still ongoing despite the difficult terrain, insecurity in the area, and the possibility of more collapse if the rescue effort is not done professionally and cautiously,” he added.
He appealed to the artisanal miners to be careful with mining procedures. He also called on the relevant authorities to monitor, supervise, and prevent mining activities, which are fast spreading to the nooks and crannies of the state, to avert future occurrences.

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