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Cameroon- Batouri: Second Mining Accident Kills Two People in Less Than A Week

Gold mining site

A new accident occurred yesterday, Monday 13 June, at an artisanal mining site in Kambele, a locality in the Batouri district in the East region, located on the border with the Central African Republic.

At least two people were killed and two injured. “We extracted two bodies and two others who were injured. The two bodies have been handed over to their families. As for the wounded, one of whom suffered a back injury, they refused to be taken to hospital,” said Batouri’s brigade commander, Chief Warrant Officer Major Pierre Mihiroul. According to these words reported by the daily Cameroon Tribune, the victims died of asphyxiation.

This is the second mining accident in less than a week in Batouri. On 9 June, five people died in the collapse of an artisanal mine in Belita, a mining village on the border with CAR. However, the search for eight people was able to save them.

The commune of Batouri is full of artisanal gold mines. As a result, such incidents are frequent. Some 157 deaths were recorded on Cameroonian mining sites between 2013 and April 2021, according to a count by the NGO Forêts et développement rural (Foder).

On 30 August 2021, the government banned the access of underage children to mining exploration and exploitation sites throughout the country and banned all forms of work within these sites involving children under the compulsory school age as provided for by the regulations.

This measure follows “the observation of innumerable accidents recorded in mining sites which caused multiple losses of human life“, the youngest of whom were less than a year old, said the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development , Gabriel Dodo Ndoke.

Published on 05.05.2023

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