Site icon The Times Group Malawi

Community accuses Terrastone of negligence

Villagers around Njuli Quarry in Chiradzulu have accused Terrastone Limited of neglecting safety standards.

The accusation comes after a device, which some children picked near the quarry, exploded and killed a 15-year-old boy and injured five other children.

One of the seriously injured children is admitted to Queens Central Hospital.

The uncle to the children, Rachson Kaiwe, made the accusation during the funeral ceremony of the deceased child, James Grey, a Standard Seven pupil at Matenjere Primary School, who was laid to rest yesterday.

Kaiwe alleged that the whole village is awash with used devices some of which include ropes that burst when they come in contact with fire.

“The six children, who are all related from Chikuse Village at around 4pm on Tuesday, were playing with a suspected explosive material within the village which caused a blast after they put it on fire. One died on the spot, while the other is seriously injured and has been referred to Queens where he has had a successful chest surgery to remove metals… The other four children are admitted to Chiradzulu Hospital.

“The truth is that we are not safe in this community because when I go around this area I can see a lot of cables [rope bursting] and these are the same cables that have killed and injured my nephews. So there there is a lot of negligence on the part of Terrastone Limited which is mining quarry in this area,” alleged Kaiwe.

According to Chiradzulu Police Spokesperson, Victoria Chirwa, postmortem results showed that Grey died due to severe external bleeding.

But Terrastone Limited Quarry Manager, Isabel Olivira, denied the allegations that the blast is from a live device, claiming the children use fireworks and mix with fertiliser, among others.

“It is different from the blasting from the quarry. Most children use fireworks mixed with fertiliser and an already used piece of device. The children are warned before the blast, but when we blast they are the first ones to collect the remaining materials even though we try to chase them. The matter is under police investigations and the Ministry of Mining is aware of that so let us wait for their investigations,” claimed Olivira.

A visit at the site where the blast took place noted the explosion and also the green maize around wilting.

Minister of Energy, Mining and Natural Resources, Bright Msaka, expressed ignorance on the matter and asked for more time to find out on the issue.

Meanwhile, the police have appealed to Terrastone Limited company to put protective measures so that the community around should not have access to such dangerous materials. The community also urged the parents to control their children from picking any dangerous materials.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Exit mobile version