Tanzania: Five Small Gold Miners Die After Being Trapped in Geita District Pit

Source:ALLAFRICA

Mwanza — Five small scale-miners at Mgusu Mine in Geita Region have died and four others injured after being trapped in a pit as they were looking for gold on Wednesday.

The Geita District Administrative Secretary, Mr Gasper Kanyairita, told the 'Daily News' that the victims' death came a few months after authorities warned over the safety of the pit.

Mr Kanyairita said an operation conducted as soon as the calamity was reported managed to save four miners who were rushed and admitted to Geita Regional Hospital for treatment.

He said out of the five deaths, one was identified as a woman aged 28 , whose bodies were until yesterday preserved at the regional health facility waiting for burial arrangements as authorities called off the rescue exercise.

"We have now closed the rescue exercise after experts and the rescue team confirmed there were no more miners reportedly trapped under the pit," said Mr Kanyairita. As a result of the incident, the mine has been closed down until the time when all safety precautions would have been considered.

According to Mr Kanyairita, the victims met their deaths as they chose to follow the gold belt about 30 to 40 metres deep when the pit suddenly cracked, trapping them right away.

However, the DAS said that was the first serious incident reported at the mine in recent years since it was licensed to conduct small-scale mining.

The Geita Regional Police Commander, Mr Latson Mponjoli, could not give more details when contacted by phone, saying he was busy preparing a comprehensive report on the matter.

"I am preparing the report on this accident, so I am sorry that I cannot release anything official to someone I don't see physically. That has been my personal principal," claimed the RPC.

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