3 buried dead while mining soil at Tafua-tai

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2018: Three men are confirmed dead when they were buried in a landslide while mining soil at Tafua-tai in Savaii Monday this week.

Police said preliminary investigations indicated that a businessman from Satupa’itea and 7 of his workers went to mine soil from Tafua-tai. It is believed that the nearby embankment caved in and buried the workers.

The effort to recover the buried men is shown on a video clip on social media and shows the bodies being recovered by a machine from inside a cave where they were buried.

Three of the men were declared dead on arrival at the Tuasivi hospital.

According to one of the village pastors, the businessman had been warned about the safety to mine soil from the area. “It is a very tragic accident,” he said.

Three other workers were treated and released from the hospital and one is still in a critical condition.

The deceased are Meki Matau (m) 34 years of Tafua and Puipa’a; Fogalefatu Tiatia (m) 37 years of Gataivai and David Laloata (m) 42 years of Tafua.

An inquiry is set for mention on 24 September.