Rescue Efforts Underway as Dozens Remain Entombed in Nigerian Mine Accident

Dozens of gold miners are trapped underground after a mining pit collapsed in central Niger’s state on Monday due to heavy rainfall. The incident was slow to be reported because of the country’s recent general strike that ended Tuesday.

Niger state emergency agency spokesman Hussaini Ibrahim told the BBC that one miner has been confirmed dead, and they believe over 30 remain trapped as rescue efforts continue. Officials think the rains softened the soil, causing the collapse.

As of Wednesday morning, Ibrahim said over 30 are likely still trapped, though an exact number is unclear even to those on site. One person was confirmed dead while six were rescued and hospitalized. Four excavators and rescue workers are attempting to free those trapped.

Nigeria’s mining minister, Dele Alake, said mine inspectors were sent to the Galadima Kogo site. He assured an investigation into the disaster’s causes to prevent recurrences and ensure miner safety.

The area is known for criminal gangs kidnapping for ransom, so last year mining was banned in the Shiroro district and neighbors due to insecurity. Extra security was provided to protect rescue workers from abductions.

Mining accidents are not uncommon in Nigeria, with many involving illegal miners going unreported. In January, a deadly Ibadan blast killing two and injuring 77 was linked to illegally stored mining explosives.

About Geraldine Boechat 2732 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia