The lack of logistics is hindering rescue operation in the Gbonipea’s Goldmines disaster that has more than 40 persons entrapped in Liberia’s northern Nimba county, the country’s agency in charge of disaster management said in a statement Wednesday in the capital Monrovia.
“Gbonipea is an inaccessible area and getting an excavator machine and or other logistical equipment on the scene for the expediting of the rescue is posing a challenge,: Archievego M. Doe – the Director of Communications for the National Disater Mnagement Agency said.
“ The Government of Liberia is doing all it can with partners to ensure equipment that can be moved through the forest are mobilized and efforts made to increase the required human resource to supplement national strategy.”
The situation is being handled with care to avoid further casualties, while a Technical Committee has been set up and a crisis management plan develop to be used as a working tool For safety and protection, the agency has called for increased presence of security forces at the affected site, according to officials.
First responders have recovered five (5) dead bodies and rescued one survival. Three (3) of the five bodies have been recognized by relatives and turned over to these family members for burial while two are yet to be identified, the statement said.
Earlier, two persons were initially injured in another soil collapse, rescued and treated at the Tapeta Hospital. A Command Post has been set up in the affected area to coordinate rescue efforts.
The NDMA has already dispatched a team of rescue and response officers to provide technical support to the efforts made by the County Disaster Management Committee.
On the morning of February 10, 2019, a disaster occurred in Gbanipea, about ten kilometers away from Tapeta City, Tapeta District, Nimba County which resulted into the collapse of loose soils at a gold pit in an alleged illegal goldmine in which about forty (40) persons were entrapped.