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Independent AfricaSeveral gold miners trapped underground in Nigeria, rescue efforts underway

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Several gold miners trapped underground in Nigeria, rescue efforts underway

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Numerous gold miners find themselves trapped underground following a collapse in a central Nigerian mine shaft.

The incident occurred on Monday amidst heavy rainfall in Niger state, although news dissemination was delayed due to the nation’s widespread strike, which concluded on Tuesday.

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Hussaini Ibrahim, spokesperson for the Niger state emergency service agency, informed the BBC that one fatality had been confirmed, and it is estimated that over 30 individuals remain trapped as rescue operations persist.

Authorities attribute the collapse to the deluge of rain, which softened the ground. “As of this morning [Wednesday], we estimate that over 30 people are still trapped; precise figures are unavailable as even those on-site are uncertain,” stated Mr. Ibrahim.

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“One fatality has been confirmed, and six individuals were rescued and transported to the hospital.” He disclosed that four excavators and rescue personnel are presently on-site, endeavoring to extricate those trapped.

Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, announced that Mines Inspectorate officials had been dispatched to the Galadima Kogo mining site. “Rest assured, we will investigate the causes of this catastrophe to prevent its recurrence and ensure the safety of all Nigerians,” he affirmed in a statement.

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Niger state is notorious for criminal activity, particularly kidnappings perpetrated by gangs. Last year, mining operations were prohibited in the Shiroro area, where the mine collapsed, and surrounding regions due to security and safety concerns.

The state official reassured that additional security measures were implemented to safeguard rescue personnel from potential abductions.

Mining mishaps are frequent in Nigeria, often involving unregistered miners and going unreported. In January, a fatal explosion occurred in Ibadan, claiming two lives and injuring 77 others. The Oyo state government attributed the incident to explosives hoarded by illegal miners.

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