District Chief Executive for Amansie South Clement Kwaku Poku said the bodies of two of the victims have been retrieved while the search continues for a third.
Local divers are racing to recover the bodies of three suspected illegal miners after they got drowned in the Offin River.
The incident was reported on Saturday, July 9, at Manso Keniago in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region. The victims were among dozens of illegal miners who were returning from a mining site when their canoe they were traveling in, capsized in the river which had burst its banks.
“The Offin River crosses the district and these young men had also gone to the banks of the river to prospect for gold. But unfortunately, they got drowned because it had rained and the river had overflown its banks…I have spoken to the Assemblyman for the area and the briefing is that divers are on a search for the third victim”, Clement stated.
Police gave the names of the victims as Kwaku Osei aka Abodie, 24, Kwame Boakye, aka Ophoto, 44, and Amo Emanuel, 24.
Just as the Assembly was reeling over the incident, it got another report that a man and a woman were killed when an abandoned mining pit caved in on Monday, July 11 at Muawano, a community in the District.
Officials said the victims were searching for gold when the incident occurred at about 3 pm, local time. The victims are Abena Agyewaa, 30 and a 44-year-old man whose name was given as ‘Taller’.
This brings to five the number of deaths reported.
“So personnel from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) were deployed following the news. They met the lifeless bodies at the scene and they quickly conveyed them to St. Martin’s Hospital”.
Although the Amansie South District Security Council admits illegal mining is in full swing in the area, he stressed that the District Security Council was working to fight the menace.
“It has been tough”, said Chairman of the Council Clement Kwaku who confirmed the latest incident to ashantibiz.com. “But we are doing our best as a District Security Council to fight this menace. We have deployed a task force to flash out these miners but sometimes we are overwhelmed [by their modus operandi”.