Mining sector-related accidents are on a worrisome upward trend, according to a new report, which shows that 27 people lost their lives within the first five months of this year.
The Chief Inspector of Mines, Mr Ally Samaje, says besides the casualties, 46 people were injured in eleven accidents that were recorded between January and May - one of the highest in recent years.
"During the whole of 2016, the recorded number of deaths and injuries was 30 and 32. The latest figures, even before we are half-way the current year, indicates that local quarries are increasingly becoming death traps," he said.
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has embarked on a countrywide mission to train artisan miners on safety precautions in quarries. He said a session had been conducted at the Mirerani Mining Hills in Simanjiro District in Manyara Region.
Four people died in three accidents there so far this year. It was during the session that Mr Samaje painted the grim picture, and told quarry owners that the government won't hesitate to close down and revoke the licences of those whose sites would be deemed to be unsafe.
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