Cotton Tree Kills Three, Severely Injured Two others at Grand Gedeh Gold Mine – Latest Liberian News
ZWEDRU, Grand Gedeh County – It was a day of sorrow on Thursday, March 30 at Benny Gold Mine when three people instantly died after a giant-sized cotton tree fell on them. The tragic incident also left two others injured.
Cotton Tree, known internationally by its scientific name as Ceiba pentandra is a giant-sized tropical tree and a native of Liberia. It is commonly found near rural settlements across the country.
The Camp Master, Charles Ross told K-news that eight people were working at the site, when the tree fell, killing three and wounding two, the rest narrowly escaped unharmed
Mr. Ross named the three as Samuel Dweh 23 years old, Victor Glortoe 28, and Prince Seoward, age 30.
Those injured, he said, has been taken to the Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and currently undergoing medical attention, while the remains of the deceased have been deposited to the Ebenezer funeral home in Zwedru.
Also speaking, the chairperson of the ‘Gold Boys Association’ John F. Davis expressed regret the untimely of their fellow members and called on all miners to be very careful as they go about their regular, normal hustle.
He thanked the Liberia National Police LNP of Grand Gedeh Detachment for the quick intervention and also for also bringing calm to the victims’ families and the leadership of mine.
Multiple tragedies in recent years
The forest of Liberia is inundated with illegal artisanal gold mine. With the high unemployment rate, many Liberians predominantly youths, abandoned the city and their homes for these illegal sites. While some find benefits, majority of them end up with nothing. And in the worst-case scenario like victims of the Benny Gold Mine disaster, they never return due to disaster such as landslides and severe illness as the result of the unsafe working environment.
In May 2020, dozens artisanal miners died after a landslide wrecked an illegal gold in Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County. Several reports put the death toll at between 50 and 60 people.
Prior to that incident, in early 2019, more than 60 illegal miners including women died at the Gboanipea Gold mine near Tappita, Nimba County when the soil collapsed while they were deep underground. There bodies were never recovered.
The mine is co-owned by the current Minister of Transport, Cllr. Cooper W. Kruah. Despite the magnitude of the disaster and the national and international it gathered, Minister Kruah and the co-owners of the mine were never questioned.
By D. Abraham Cooper, Knews’ Correspondent in Grand Gedeh county.