By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Bea Mountain Mining Company has confirmed at least one dead, two in critical condition at the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital in Sinkor, Monrovia, after a fatal accident during underground mining that occurred last Thursday, October 19, 2023, at its mining site in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount County, Western Liberia.
The Turkish gold-mining company also clarifies initial media reports that more than 40 miners died after the latest mudslides, explaining that more people trapped underground or beneath the rocks, were struggling for survival after the rubbles fell upon them in the fatal accident.
Bea Mountain Safety’s Manager Shadrach O. Fahnbulleh
Bea Mountain Safety’s Manager Shadrach O. Fahnbulleh, confirms that a local miner identified as Thomas Haines, instantly lost his life, when a rock from the broken- bricks fell on his head, while two nationals – Muzatter Cengiz and Bagi Cava, who got severely wounded with parts broken from their bodies, were among three miners on duty responsible for charging the battery, before rock blasting can occur when the rubbles fell upon them.
Fahnbulleh says at no time forty (40) miners were on duty when the casualty occurred, saying “At no time there were 40 people mining when this incident occurred; this is sad, misleading and unfair to us.”
He details that at the time of the incident, a new shift had taken over that Tuesday, October 17, when the two foreign employees and a Liberian, responsible for charging the blasting machine, had gone to perform their duties and unfortunately met their fate unfortunately.
“At the time, there were no workers on the site, only three of those guys responsible for charging the machine, and there were no blasting.”
According to him, on Monday, October 23, rescue crew including staffers and medical teams assisted the survivors, but unfortunately, the Liberian Thomas Haines, died instantly, while Muzatter Cengiz and Bagi Cava were rushed to the company’s medical facility for first aid before they were transferred to Monrovia for proper medication.
Eyewitnesses confirm the one death with two injuries.
Zinnah Diablo, Kinjor Town Chief, describes as unfortunate, situation involving the death of a member of his community.
Chief Diablo calls on the Management of Bea Mountain and the Government of Liberia to do away with underground mining that he describes as very dangerous.
Meanwhile, Bea Mountain through its Communication Consultant, Alphonso Toweh, expresses grief over the incident and extends condolences to the bereaved family. Editing by Jonathan Browne