According to reports, the Tokadeh mining site of ArcelorMittal in Yekepah, Nimba County, was the scene of mourning and sorrow last week when a young geologist assistant, Henry Fayiah, was crushed to death by a stockpile of iron ore while carrying out sample tests on stockpile ores.
According to sources, the late Fayiah met his untimely death on Monday, December 9, when the ore reportedly overwhelmed the deceased like a landslide.
According to eyewitnesses, all attempts to save Henry Fayiah’s life proved futile. His lifeless body was later dug out of the ores.
The management of ArcelorMittal has officially confirmed the incident.
The victim, according to the management of ArcelorMittal, was one of their employees working for the quality control department.
Friends and family sources told this paper that the corpse of the late Fayiah has been deposited at a funeral home in Ganta pending final rituals.
Amos Dolo, a friend of the deceased, told this paper that Fayiah was always smiling and hardly got angry with his friends. Dolo said that the deceased was always dedicated to duties assigned to him. He was a youth leader in the community (Area B) where he lived before his death.
“I was shocked when I came home and was informed that my friend had died. I couldn’t believe it. We became friends when we were very young and have been close since then. My friend was too young to die at this age,” Dolo said.
Annie Farkollie, also a friend of the deceased, said: “It is very difficult to accept, but we just have to, because Henry is no longer with us. We lost him and we must accept it. I don’t think it was his time to leave us. We will really miss him, but I pray to God that his soul rests in perfect peace.”
Making the official confirmation at the company’s mining headquarters in Yekepah Nimba County on Thursday, December 12, the Communication Manager of ArcelorMittal, Jerry Mwagbe, said the death of Henry Fayiah was indeed a tragic incident.
Mwagbe: “The recent death that took place in the mine was tragic. Our sincere condolences go out to the family of the victim.”
He indicated that the fatality did not occur in the area that Engineers and Planners (E & P) operates, and that the victim was not an E&P employee.
Engineers and Planners (E & P) entered into a contract with ArcelorMittal Liberia in 2011 and that contract is expected to end on December 31, 2013.
“The victim was an ArcelorMittal Liberia employee and worked for our quality control department, which is not part of the E&P contract. Safety is ArcelorMittal’s number one priority at every location worldwide,” the company’s communication manager said.
But Mwagbe said the tragedy was the first of its kind in the mine area and the company’s management was investigating the cause.
He noted that until a full investigation has been carried out, ArcelorMittal’s management cannot answer any questions from the media.
Though it has promised to underwrite the cost of Fayiah’s funeral rites, some of the deceased’s friends paraded with his picture, sealed to a box, through the principal streets of Yekepah.
This practice is customary around the country, usually carried out by young people when their friend(s) die, in order to raise money to help with the wake, funeral and repast expenses.