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