Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to victims of the mudslide in a mine in Gbonepea, Nimba County, and expressed consolation to affected families while invoking abundant blessings upon them.
The sentiments were expressed in a telegram sent on behalf of Pope Francis by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the Bishop of Gbarnga, Anthony Fallah Borwah.
It said His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of lives caused by a mudslide in Gbonepea, and expressed his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this
The Pope prayed for those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and the emergency personnel who are assisting the victims.
“Upon all, the Holy Father invokes the divine blessings of strength and healing,” the telegram said.
About 45 miners were in early February trapped under debris when the walls of an illegal artisanal gold mine in Gbonepea, Tappita District caved-in on them. About eight bodies have so far been discovered.
Hopes of recovering others alive continue to diminish by the day as the lack of earth-moving machines and other equipment to aid in the rescue mission continue to pose a challenge to the ongoing rescue mission.
Speaking on the nature of the disaster and the ongoing rescue process, Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E. Murray noted that while the time-frame of 72 hours for the rescue operation has elapsed, as believers Liberians must also hope that rescue is still possible.
Murray added: “we will still continue our search and rescue mission after which we will do the recovery.”