Fear and panic have gripped residents at Anwiam in the Obuasi East District of the Ashanti Region following the trapping of over three hundreds (300) illegal miners in a mine shaft belonging to multinational mining giant AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
A viral showed several people, predominately women, crying behind a fence where they claimed their husbands and family relations had been trapped.
"God help us! God help us! God give them strength for us, give them strength for us," some of the women can be heard saying as they cried uncontrollably.
One of the women who spoke in the video indicated that she could no longer contact her husband.
She said her husband had been trapped for several hours and might be on the brink of dying.
"I have not been able to speak to him; his phone is switched off. They are weak; they have starved for hours, so they are just lying in the mine," she said in Twi.
Hundreds of illegal miners are trapped in a mine shaft belonging to multinational mining giant AngloGold.
The incident, according to information available to Soireenews.com occurred at AngloGold's Obuasi Mines at Anwiam in the Obuasi East District of the Ashanti Region.
The miners are said to have entered the underground shaft in search of gold deposits but have been trapped because all exit routes were subsequently shut.
One of the illegal miners, Ali Tijani, who spoke to journalists disclosed that some of his colleagues are unconscious as they have run out of food and water, the Citi News report stated.
The trapped contingent, reportedly numbering 300, are appealing through their families to the AngloGold authorities to intervene and rescue them from the shaft.
Meanwhile the AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s Obuasi Mine has stated that in a press statement that it is aware of media reports alleging that illegal miners may have been trapped underground in the northern areas of the mine, remote from current active mining areas.
Unauthorized persons underground are able to exit on foot, via the existing ramp, through the main access of this mining area.
No person underground has been confined in any way and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open.
Obuasi Gold Mine’s management team has notified the relevant authorities and public security services and is working closely with them.
Yesterday, seven illegal miners exited through this main access point on foot and are in the custody of the Ghana Police Service.
Any unauthorized person underground is encouraged to leave the mine at any time by the exit points where public security personnel remain on standby.
Intrusion of illegal miners into underground areas remains a significantly dangerous activity and AngloGold Ashanti Ghana is working alongside authorities to ensure that only authorized mine personnel and contractors can access underground work areas.
The safety and security of our employees and community members remain our top priority and AngloGold Ashanti Ghana stands ready to provide any assistance required by the authorities in ensuring the safe exit of any unauthorized persons underground.