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Sunday July 3, 2011
By LEONARD PHANG firstname.lastname@example.org
KUCHING: A teenager became the second fatality at Gunung Tabai in Taiton, Bau, this year after his father’s warning not to take
part in illegal gold mining there fell on
Phill Gojiak, a form six student from Kampung Bijuray, informed his mother that he was taking a few gunny sacks from home to go to the mining area on Friday.
His father, upon returning home at 3pm, was furious to discover where his son had gone. His deepest fears would be realised.
With no safety equipment whatsoever,
Phill went to the mine with 38-year-old Timothy Godeb. They arrived at the area at 5pm but because there were many other
illegal miners already there, they had to wait their turn. They only managed to begin mining at 7.50pm.
Little did they know that the spot they had chosen was the place where Chai Say Chong, 28, was killed on March 17.
At 10pm, a loose large rock fell on them as they dug their way in the tunnel. The rock pinned Phill and crushed Timothy’s foot.
Miners nearby heard their
screams and alerted the police. The
Bau Fire and Rescue Department
was also alerted.
Battling the dark conditions and
steep entrance to the tunnel, the
rescue team pulled Phill out first at
He was said to have suffered
from a serious back injury, believed
to be a broken back bone.
Phill was still making verbal contact
with the rescue workers before
leaving for Sarawak General
Hospital. He, however, was pronounce
dead at 7.50am.
Timothy was rescued at 5.10am
after rescue workers succeeded in
breaking the rock that held him
down. He was also taken to hospital
Bau district police chief DSP
Mohd Sabri Zainol said he would
ask the Resident’s Office to place a
fence forbidding any illegal miners
from re-entering the area.
In the incident in March, Chai
was prospecting for gold some 24m
underground when a slab of rock
collapsed on him.
Chai, from Paku, was said to have
been illegally digging for gold for
the first time. Police believed head
injuries were the cause of death.
In February, Bau police had
arrested 46 people for illegally
mining but the constant warnings
from the authorities have gone
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