Five dead in Marsabit County mine collapse

Five people killed after Hilo gold mine in Marsabit County collapses. [Standard, File]

Five people have died and two others sustained serious injuries after the Hilo gold mine in Dabel, Marsabit County collapsed.

The miners were engaged in gold panning when the shaft collapsed.

Marsabit County Police Commander Patrick Mwakio confirmed the incident, noting the miners died on the spot after the mine debris covered them while they were conducting illegal gold mining.

Despite a government order prohibiting mining activities, mwakio said the miners had infiltrated the mines.

 “The miners ignored the government’s directive and ventured into the mine, which had been classified as a disturbed area,” noted Mwakio.

The Hilo Gold mine, situated near the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Dabel, has been a focal point for gold mining activities, attracting numerous youths seeking to earn a living through gold scavenging.

However, due to safety and security concerns, Mwakio noted the government ordered the closure of the mine on March 14, 2024.

Despite the closure, it appears that some miners continued their operations illegally, leading to this unfortunate incident.

Mwakio warned against such illegal activities and urged miners to abide by the law.

The Hilo gold mines have been infamous for numerous fatalities.

The most recent incident prior to this occurred in March, where a conflict over the control of the Hilo gold mine site resulted in at least three deaths and eight injuries.