– colleague injured
A 20-year-old RUSAL bauxite company employee was buried alive and another worker seriously injured when a mining pit caved in on them at Kwakwani, around 10:30 hours yesterday.
The dead man has been identified as Franklyn Reece, of Hururu Mission, Berbice River. His colleague, identified as Anthony Johnson, sustained spinal injuries and is being treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Both men were employed with the bauxite firm as Assistant Surveyors.
According to reports, the men, along with Senior Supervisor Dion Ross were taking samples from the Block Five Mines, Kwakwani, when one of the walls of the pit suddenly collapsed.
Reece was reportedly buried beneath a huge pile of rubble and was reportedly already dead when rescuers dug him out.
Johnson, who was also injured, was rushed to the Kwakwani Hospital where he was admitted with suspected spinal injuries. He was subsequently transferred to the city.
There are reports that an excavator was also covered in the pit.
In a statement issued last night, BCCI said that the incident occurred at block Number Five in the Kwakwani area.
“This unfortunate incident resulted in the death of our worker Franklyn Reece. The family of the deceased was immediately informed and the Company expressed its condolences.”
Another worker, Anthony Johnson was injured as a result of this accident. He was immediately air transported by the Company to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), where he received urgent medical care. His condition is not critical, and in the opinion of the doctors he should be released in few days.”
“The Reece family will be offered compensation and other assistance from the BCGI. The Company also will stand all medical expenses for our colleague Anthony Johnson.
The directors of BCGI are in contact with the Guyana authorities surrounding this incident, in particular with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).”
The statement said that according to the provisional assessment, the casualties were suffered because of an involuntary cave in of a bench edge.
“All circumstances of this accident will be the subject of a specially created commission which will provide its final conclusion. This Company considers the absence of our colleague Franklyn Reece as a loss to our mining family and regrets all emotional trauma that was caused by this event, and truly empathizes with his relatives in their bereavement,” BCCI stated.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that a team of officers is to be dispatched to the area to conduct a full investigation into the accident.
“Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for Mining (Samuel Hinds) sadly learnt this morning…about the unfortunate accident at the bauxite mines of Bauxite Company Guyana Inc… The Prime Minister has had discussions with the Minister of Labour, Manzoor Nadir, who is dispatching a team of officers to Kwakwani to ascertain the facts and to provide an immediate report on this regrettable accident.”
“Early in this week, a team will be appointed to conduct a full investigation into this fatal accident in an effort to establish where regulations to ensure occupational safety and health might not have been satisfied, and to determine other factors, if any, that might have contributed to this unfortunate incident.”
Sincere condolences and deepest sympathies are hereby extended to the family and friends of the deceased, and wishes for an early and full recovery of the injured are herewith proffered.
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