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Avinesh Ram’s family (from left), Nishi Nitisha (niece), Poonam Kohli (wife) and Nandani Keshni Lata (sister-in-law) at their resi­dence, in Toko, Tavua, on May 3, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai
May 04
11:45 2018

Distraught Poonam Kohli was supposed to celebrate her birthday tomorrow.

Instead, Ms Kohli will be burying her miner husband Avinesh Ram. Mr Ram died after he fell at the R1 Underground shaft at the Vatukou­la Gold Mine Ltd on Wednesday.

“This will be the worst birthday of my life, because instead of celebrat­ing, it will be the funeral day for the love of my life, my dear loving hus­band Avinesh,” Ms Kohli said.

She requested that her age be not made public and if the media could respect her privacy.

She said she last spoke to the late Mr Ram around 9:15am on Wednes­day before he had gone down into the mine.

“It was our usual routine where he would wish me a good day and say ‘Baby I love you’, but I had no idea that would be the last and final time we spoke.”

Upon hearing the news of the acci­dent, she did not hesitate to go and check whether her husband was okay. She waited from Wednesday night till yesterday morning hop­ing and praying for good news.

“But in the end I got the worst news of my life that my husband was gone, my heart just broke at that moment because I knew I will not be able to see, hold or even hug him again, let alone tell him that I love him very much.”

Ms Kohli was still trying to come to terms with his death. She was in shock.

During happier times, the late Avinesh Ram, wife Poonam Kohli and son Abishai Ram (top)

During happier times, the late Avinesh Ram, wife Poonam Kohli and son Abishai Ram (top)

“I really cannot imagine my life without him, I really do not know where to start or what to say right now because the pain is unbearable and I cannot describe it.”

She said the late Mr Ram was a really loving husband to her and a loving father to their three-year-old son Abishai Ram.

“For me personally, he treated me like a queen and always prioritised me and my son’s needs above eve­rything else. Now that he is gone, I really do not know what to do be­cause I have never imagined what it would be like without him.”

Vatukoula Gold Mines Ltd con­firmed the death of Mr Ram might have been caused by an accident that occurred in its R1 shaft under­ground operations on Wednesday.

Its statement also stated that the Vatukoula Emergency Service teams and senior personnel worked through the day yesterday and into the night to retrieve Mr Ram’s body.

“No one else was injured in the incident. Officers of the Mineral Resources Department and the Fiji Police were also present on site and have commenced their investiga­tions,” the statement said.

General Manager Lingquan Kong, said that Mr Ram was a member of a family with a long association with the mine. Mr Ram himself was a much respected miner with some 14 years of experience.

Mr Kong said that the manage­ment would be waiting for the inde­pendent findings of the investiga­tion teams before confirming the cause of the accident.

Family members of the late Mr Ram are currently gathering at their residence in Toko, Tavua in preparation for the funeral.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar




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