Four people are feared dead after a goldmine collapsed at Khayega village in Ikolomani Sub-county, Kakamega county.
Twelve people were working at the goldmine when the tragedy occurred at about 1 am on Thursday morning. Of the 12, eight were rescued while the other four remain trapped.
This is the second such incident to happen within a month at Kenya’s largely unregulated gold mines. Two weeks ago three miners died at the Karebe mine in Chemase Nandi County after an explosion caused a wall in the mine was collapsed.
The three were working underground when a wall built to prevent the mine against flooding and illegal incursion was blasted illegally by illegal miners suspected to be working for a rival company.
“Our staff were instantly killed when a wall built to prevent the mine against flooding and illegal incursion was blasted illegally by illegal miners,” the statement read
The company claimed wrangles with a rival mine could have led to the attack accusing relevant authorities of laxity to end mining activities within the disputed area.
“Our sorrow is compounded by deep frustration that our calls to address the danger posed by illegal miners operating in our license area have not been answered by the relevant authorities, despite court orders prohibiting mining activities within the disputed area.”
“We call on the authorities to bring the persons responsible for this brutal crime – including those who have ignored our warnings for so long – to justice.”
Karebe has since been shut down by the government and its licence canceled.