17.09.2004 Regional News

Four electrocuted and 11 injured at Prestea

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Prestea (W/R), Sept. 17, GNA - Four people were electrocuted and 11 seriously injured at Prestea when a lightening stuck a high tension cable and disconnected it during a heavy downpour on Wednesday.

The dead were Salifu Seidu, 26, and Alhassan Adam, 27 and Karima Amadu 20, a female, both from Kagikori all in the Upper West Region. The 11 who were seriously injured have been treated and discharged with exception of two who suffered chest and knee injuries, at the government hospital at Prestea.

Dr Kennedy Azantilow, Senior Medical officer in-charge of the hospital said a lot of people who received electric shocks were rushed to the hospital but treated and discharged yesterday leaving the 11 who were seriously injured.

Dr Azantilow said the two whose injuries were serious were still on admission.

Mr Mohammed Nuhu, an executive member of Prestea Mining Group, a small-scale mining concern based at Prestea who was an eye witness said a high tension cable running across bungalow Four in Prestea to Bondaye shaft was stuck by lightening.

He said the cable disconnected and fell into a run-off water on the ground an the four who came in contact with the water were electrocuted and 26 others received various degrees of shocks.

Mr Nuhu pleaded with Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) to extend care and maintenance to the high tension electric cable as well because it is old, especially the one running through Bungalow Four, a populated galamsey area.

Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Ayensu, Wassa West District Chief Executive visited the injured at the hospital and extended his condolence to the bereaved families.

He said this unfortunate incident has never happened in the history of Prestea.

Mr Ayensu pleaded with BGL to expedite action on the care and maintenance works going on at Prestea to enable the mine employ a lot of people who are engaged in galamsey, which is quite risky.

Mr Mark Collopy, General Manager BGL, said when the incident occurred, electrical engineers from the mine were immediately dispatched, in conjunction with Volta River Authority (VRA) staff, to address the problem.

He said BGL intends to turn illegal mining into artisanal mining and find an alternative place for the miners to operate in addition to providing them technical advice and supervision, adding, the galamsey operators have families who should be cared for.

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