Liberia: Gov’t Releases 59 Gold Miners; Health Epidemic Feared as Several Bodies Unrecovered


Tappita, Lower, Nimba- The government of Liberia has released 59 suspects who were recently arrested at the Kartee Village Gold Mining area in Gbaneipea Town by the Armed Forces of Liberia alongside with the Police Support Unit of the Liberia national police.

Franklin Doloquee/ County Correspondent

The release comes as authorities failed to recover more bodies from the mine, which collapsed last week.

Some 40 bodies remain under the mud as rescue efforts enter its second week.

Of this number, first responders have recovered seven (7) dead bodies and rescued few survivors. Three (3) of the seven bodies have been recognized by relatives and turned over to their family members for burial while others are yet to be identified as a result of decay.

Due to the long stay of entrapped persons in the collapsed soil, disaster management specialists, health workers, security officers and environmentalists have stated that the lack of assess to air, food and water (if the victims may have been alive) may not keep the victims alive considering the length of time they have stayed underground (four days).

The National Disaster Management Agency says the smell of decayed bodies under thin soils has begun to soar the air, creating atmospheric pollution and other environmental hazards. Soil waters around the affected area are likely to be contaminated (which may lead to the spread of water-borne diseases) and these waters are not useful for cooking and drinking.

The government, through the National Disaster Management Agency, has been able to mobilize the available resources to get the Armed Forces of Liberia increased its rescue operations, the Liberia National Police manned the affected area and other ministries and Agencies provide their medical, technical and logistical support.

Residents in and around the affected areas are urged to refrain from going to the scene of disaster as it may not be safe or healthy.