Investigation launched into mining fatality which occurred at Takatu, left bank Puruni River on July 31, 2017

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – An investigation has been launched into the death of a miner following a mining accident on Monday July 31, 2017 at Takatu, on the left bank of the Puruni River in Mining District 3, Region No. 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) in which a tree fell and fatally injured the miner.

The deceased has been identified as Deon Baptiste, male, age 22. He worked as a ‘Marack Man’ on a land dredge and his address has been given as Port Kaituma, North West District. The accident is said to have occurred at 2:00 pm.

The man was taken to Bartica Hospital following the accident, which resulted in injury to another man identified as Ralph Garraway, of Charity, Essequibo.

According to reports, the miners were conducting hydraulic mining in a swampy area at the time of the accident. They were operating in a mine pit prepared only two days by the excavator operator. The accident occurred due to inadequate tree clearance around the mine pit. The approximate height of the tree was 10 feet to 15 feet. The tree was said to be leaning in the direction of the mine pit and fell after a strong breeze passed through the area of the mine. It has been determined that the falling tree hit the two men, likely causing the death and injury.

As a result of the accident, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission issued a Cease Work Order to the manager of the mine Mr Michael Kissoon and investigations are continuing.

The Ministry of Natural Resources joins with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission to extend condolences to the young man’s family and uses this opportunity to recognise that though success has been achieved with curtailing mines-pit collapses and consequential accidents, the need for greater vigilance and adherence to mining and safety regulations and practices remains very high.

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