RESCUE workers at the mine disaster site in Dunkwa-on-Offin yesterday retrieved two bodies and spotted six others in a pit that had proved difficult to reach as of press time.
The breakthrough marked the first major success in the laborious task of reaching and retrieving scores of bodies believed to have been buried under the mass of water and mud in the vast and slippery area since Sunday.
The retrieved bodies were stuck deep in the pit, with their heads and hands protruding from the sticky mud.
One rescuer told the Daily Graphic that the condition of the bodies was such that any attempt to forcibly pull them out could result in dismembering them. As a result, the rescuers had been treading cautiously.
“It’s a terrible sight. I can’t believe what I’m seeing now,” a distraught Minister of Lands and Forestry, Alhaji Collins Dauda, who has been at the site since Tuesday doing everything to facilitate the rescue process, told the Daily Graphic in the morning of yesterday.
It was alleged that the buried miners had been operating in gangs of seven, with 18 groups in all operating on that fateful day.
Alhaji Dauda said the retrieved bodies were in their early stages of decomposition, as a result of which arrangements had been made to bury them immediately.
“They are going to be buried close to the pit where the disaster happened. Graves have already been dug and we are waiting for doctors to examine the remains before they are buried,” the minister said.
Alhaji Dauda said the police were waiting to see if family members could identify the bodies, adding that if that failed, the bodies would be buried.
Dozens of people have been crossing the Offin River in small canoes to get to the site to search for their missing relatives. Unfortunately, so far many of them have only been looking on helplessly as rescuers battle the mud and water.