An investigation has been launched into a mining accident which occurred on Monday last and claimed the life of one miner and left another injured after a tree fell on them while they were working on the left bank of the Puruni River in Mining District 3, Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
The deceased miner has been identified as 22-year-old Deon Baptiste of Port Kaituma, North West District while the injured miner is said to be Ralph Garraway of Charity, Essequibo.
According to a release from the Ministry of Natural Resources, reports indicate that the men were conducting hydraulic mining in a swampy area at the time of the accident. “They were operating in a mine pit prepared only two days (earlier) by the excavator operator. The accident occurred due to inadequate tree clearance around the mine pit. The approximate height of the tree was 10 feet to 15 feet,” the release said.
It was also reported that the tree was said to be leaning in the direction of the mine pit and fell after a strong breeze passed through the area of the mine. “It has been determined that the falling tree hit the two men, likely causing the death and injury”.
As a result of the accident, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission issued a cease work order to the manager of the mine, Michael Kissoon, the statement said.
The Ministry also added that while success has been achieved in curbing mines pit collapses, the need for greater vigilance and adherence to mining and safety regulations and practices remains very high.
Since it entered office in 2015, the APNU+AFC government has held several inquiries into mining deaths and had announced a series of steps to curb fatalities.