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General News of Tuesday, 29 June 2010

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Owner of disaster mine in police grips

Owner of the gold mine which collapsed on Sunday in Ghana's Central Region was helping the police in investigations, a district official said on Tuesday.

The owner, name withheld, was believed to have altered the new pit dug by the 144 small-scale miners to collect gold they had spotted in the pit at Dunkwaw-on-Offin, 115 km west of Accra.

Dunkwa District Chief Executive Peter Owusu Eshia refused to disclose the identity of the man arrested, but confirmed that the police took the action based on preliminary investigations.

District Fire Officer D. O. Adussah said officials of the national disaster management together with the police Fire Service as well as divers were still working hard to retrieve the bodies.

"No progress has been made so far," Adussah said, adding that the nature of the ground demanded that water was pumped out of the pit for rescue work to be carried out smoothly.

According to him, the exact number of those believed to have been buried under the debris was not known since those who managed to escape were not willing to disclose any information.

Regional Fire Officer Michael Opoku Nkansah told Xinhua through telephone that embankment had been concluded, and the rescue team had just started pumping water from the pit.

He said the team was using four water pumping machines and it would take at least 24 hours to complete the job.

Meanwhile the Minister for Lands and Natural resources Collins Dauda was still at the accident site assessing the situation.

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