As we celebrate the people of Chile, I am sadly reminded of this story from last June in Ghana (pay attention to last four paragraphs):
The number of small scale miners trapped in a mining pit at Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region is now pegged at 75.
Journalists in the locality tell Joy News some other minors who escaped the torrents of water flooding into the pit have confirmed that about 136 'galamsay' operators were working in the pit when the incident occurred.
Those who were lucky escaped the Sunday disaster.
As of Monday afternoon, the police say they were yet to go to the scene to try and 'retrieve the bodies'.
The Dunkwa-On-Offin Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent S.K. Boateng told Joy News, the police, the Upper Denkyira District Assembly, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other stakeholder met to discuss the issue and devise strategies to retrieve the bodies.
He indicated the rescue effort will be tortuous because not only is the pit filled with water but the location of the pit itself - near the river Offin – made it extremely difficult to gain access to the place.
Journalist Opanin Kwarteng of Solar FM at Dunkwa-On-Offin earlier, told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah no attempts had been made to rescue the trapped miners since the incident happened Sunday.
He said even though policemen came to the scene on Sunday, they proceeded to meet with the traditional authorities for some rituals to be performed before any attempts can be made to access the pit or rescue any survivors or remove the bodies.
According to him, family members of the victims Monday morning thronged the precincts of the pit, some wailing, others folding their arms and watching helplessly, fearing for the worse.
Mr Kwarteng said the local people were standing by and waiting for the chiefs to come to the pit and perform their rituals before the bodies would be pulled out and survivors saved, if there are any.