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Five Miners Buried Alive in Ikolomani

Tragedy has struck Bushiangala area in Ikolomani Sub County after five villagers were buried alive during a gold mining expedition.

A somber mood engulfed the village after the ill equipped rescue team retrieved the remains of the five after the tunnel through which they were extracting the precious gem caved in.

Five other miners who were pulled out of the rubble alive were rushed to hospital some in critical conditions.

Ikolomani Sub County Police Commander (SCPC) Joseph Chesire said scores of other miners at the site escaped unhurt during the incident.

He said the casualties were rushed to the nearby Shibwe Hospital for treatment while the bodies were retrieved by fellow miners and ferried to Kakamega County Referral Hospital morgue.

He attributed the collapse of the tunnel to the heavy rainfall over the past few days but cautioned residents to suspend such activities as it was risky during this season when the ground is waterlogged.

He said although gold mining was one of the main economic activities in the area besides tea farming it was time they weighed the risks involved since the onset of the long rains began.

And in a related development, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has suspended mining activities in the county until the rains subsided to avert a recurrence of such tragedies.

He has called for collaboration between the police and the County Law Enforcement Officers to ensure that the directive is adhered to.

By Sammy Mwibanda

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