Mining Pit Collapse in Nigeria Exposes More Than Just Minerals


Mining Pit Collapse in Nigeria traps over 30 miners underground. One dead, six rescued. Safety and security concerns raised in Niger State.

Another day, another disaster in Nigeria’s embattled mining sector. On Monday, the ground beneath a gold mining pit in central Nigeria gave way, trapping over 30 miners underground. The collapse, spurred by torrential rains, has cast a harsh light on the perilous conditions under which miners toil.

Despite the slow emergence of news, hindered by a general strike that gripped the nation until Tuesday, details have started to surface. Hussaini Ibrahim, spokesman for Niger State’s emergency service agency, shared the grim news with the BBC:

“As at this morning [Wednesday], we believe over 30 people are still trapped. One person has been confirmed dead and six persons were rescued and rushed to the hospital.”

Efforts to rescue the trapped miners are ongoing. Four excavators and a team of rescue workers are laboring at the site, facing not just the challenges of the collapsed mine but also the ever-present threat of criminal gangs notorious for kidnapping in the region.

Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, has assured the public of a thorough investigation.

“Rest assured, we will investigate the causes of the disaster to prevent a recurrence and ensure the safety of all Nigerians,”

he stated. The Mines Inspectorate officials are on-site, striving to understand how the deluge managed to transform soil into a deathtrap.

Niger state, a hotbed of illegal mining activities, recently banned mining in the Shiroro area, the site of this disaster, citing rampant insecurity and safety concerns. However, this latest incident underscores the persistent hazards that miners face daily.

Mining accidents in Nigeria, often involving illegal operations, frequently fly under the radar. Earlier this year, a deadly blast in Ibadan, caused by explosives stored by illegal miners, killed two and injured 77, highlighting the systemic dangers plaguing the sector.

As the rescue mission continues under heavy security to thwart potential abductions, the nation watches, hoping for a miracle but bracing for the worst. The recurring tragedies in Nigeria’s mining industry call for urgent reforms and stricter enforcement of safety regulations. For now, the miners of Galadima Kogo and their families can only wait and pray for a rescue that comes too seldom in these forgotten corners of Nigeria.

Digging Deeper: When Will Nigeria’s Mining Sector Unearth Safety?

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  • Statements from Niger State Emergency Service Agency
  • BBC News


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