Min­istry prob­ing death of 11-year-old in min­ing pit col­lapse

Stabroek News Sunday - - NEWS -

The Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources yes­ter­day con­firmed that they are prob­ing the death of an 11-year-old school dropout on Thurs­day evening, af­ter a min­ing pit col­lapsed on him while he was search­ing for gold.

The dead child has been iden­ti­fied as Ty­rone Tyrel DeSouza, a res­i­dent of Big Creek back­dam, North West Dis­trict (NWD), where the ac­ci­dent oc­curred.

Re­ports are that the in­ci­dent oc­curred around 22.30hrs Thurs­day, while DeSouza and a group of nine oth­ers ven­tured into the min­ing pit at Fish Creek back­dam, Big Creek, NWD in search of gold.

The Sun­day Stabroek un­der­stands that the min­ing op­er­a­tion is owned by Ter­rence Yarde, a res­i­dent of Big Creek Back­dam. The op­er­a­tion is sit­u­ated north east of the back­dam, while the dredges are lo­cated in a pit which mea­sures about 80 feet in depth and 40 feet in width.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions, the news­pa­per was told, re­vealed that around 8.00hrs on Christ­mas Day, Yarde closed his op­er­a­tion and left for Port Kai­tuma.

How­ever, around 6.00hrs Thurs­day, DeSouza, along with nine other per­sons, went into the min­ing pit and re­port­edly pro­ceeded to un­der­mine a sec­tion of the pit in search of the gold. That sec­tion of the min­ing pit col­lapsed, trap­ping DeSouza be­low the mud and wa­ter. The other in­di­vid­u­als man­aged to es­cape un­hurt.DeSouza’s body was re­trieved on Fri­day morn­ing. He was taken to the Port Kai­tuma Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal, where he was pro­nounced dead on ar­rival.

The Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, in a state­ment yes­ter­day, said that raid­ing and il­le­gal min­ing re­main sig­nif­i­cant is­sues, which con­tinue to af­fect the in­dus­try.

“Raid­ing and il­le­gal min­ing re­main sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems in the sec­tor and this death only re­in­forces the re­sult­ing dan­gers of these. It is high time per­sons un­der­stand these dan­gers and de­ter from do­ing such acts. Mines safety re­mains (piv­otal) to the in­ter­est of the Min­istry and as such, we con­tinue to look into min­ing deaths that re­sult from these prac­tices,” the state­ment noted.

The Min­istry ex­pressed con­do­lences to the fam­ily of DeSouza.

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