Mine collapse kills 3 in Rwanda

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Child workers at a mine in Rwanda

Rwanda National Police has urged owners of mineral concessions to ensure that all miners have safety gear and put in place standard protection mechanisms.

The call came in a wake of an accident that claimed three miners after a weak-holding concession collapsed and fell on them.

The accident happened on October 09, in Byimana Sector of Ruhango District.

The Southern Region Police Spokesperson, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi identified the victims as Francois Shyiriburyo, Sixibert Musabyimana and Gabriel Hakizimana.

At the time of the accident, the victims were mining cassiterite in a concession.

Previously, similar accidents have happened but mostly to illegal miners. This prompted the regional spokesperson to call on communities around concessions to be part of the call to ensure safety.

According to IP Kayigi, this disturbing trend is proof enough that it is mandatory for mining companies to provide miners with safety gear such as gloves, gas masks and helmets are as well as inspect the mines for safety precautions before they give a green light to those seeking to carry out the activity.

“It is important for each company to train its miners on safety measures. On top of that, concession owners must provide safety gear to protect the miners when they are doing their work,” said IP Kayigi.

With the increase technology, IP Kayigi said, it is important for mine concession owners to invest in standards personal protective equipments, including adequate radio communication devices or safety lamps that won’t potentially trigger explosives atmospheres.

It is also important to protect the mining areas against activities of illegal miners which increase the risk of mining accidents and environment hazards