Best sworn-in to probe Rock Creek mining pit death

Just over one week after Ann’s Grove resident Keon Wilson died in a mining pit collapse at Rock Creek, Puruni, Rear Admiral (ret’d) Gary Best was yesterday sworn in to lead the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into his death.

Best, who is the Presidential Advisor on the Environment, was sworn in by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts yesterday morning.

Wilson, 33, was killed around 4.30 pm on October 8, when a mining pit he and others were working in collapsed, causing him to be buried by mud.

Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and Commissioner Gary Best at his swearing in ceremony yesterday. (Photo by Keno George)
Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and Commissioner Gary Best at his swearing in ceremony yesterday. (Photo by Keno George)

The CoI into circumstances surrounding the accident was subsequently ordered by President David Granger.

The terms of reference of the inquiry are to investigate, examine and report the regulatory, monitoring and reporting regimes that govern mining areas specifically at Rock Creek, Puruni; the adequacy and effectiveness of those agencies responsible for the oversight and implementation of these safety operating procedures; review the responsibilities and mechanisms to realise safety operating procedures; and determine whether there was compliance with safety operating procedures.

It is also mandated to investigate the causes, conditions and surrounding circumstance that led to the death of Wilson; determine whether there were breaches of any laws, regulation, rules, and practices that directly led to, or contributed to, the death of Wilson; and ascertain blameworthiness of individuals.

Best indicated that the preliminary report of the CoI is due in two weeks’ time.

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