Miners feared dead in mine shaft collapse

Published: 01 January 2019
Some artisanal miners are feared dead after a mine shaft they were working in in Shurugwi collapsed at the weekend.

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon at Wonderer Mine, one of the oldest mines in Shurugwi, where over 300 artisanal miners were reportedly working underground when the shaft started giving in.

When our news crew visited the mine on Sunday, hundreds of artisanal miners who escaped the collapse were still trying to find their fellow miners. Officials from the Ministry of Mines were also at the scene but ruled out any rescue possibilities.

"We were here yesterday trying to map the way forward but given the manner in which the mine collapsed, there is no way those who are underground can be rescued. "The only option is to find ways of retrieving the bodies if there are any," said an official who declined to be named referring this reporter to Provincial Mines director Engineer Malcom Mazemo for an official comment.

Some artisanal miners interviewed said some of their colleagues were missing.

"There were over 300 of us working underground in groups of six or seven. In my group we were seven but there are only five who came out," said Mr Simon Ngazi one of the artisanal miners.

Mr Ngazi said they were working under a tunnel nicknamed "Wafa Wafa" when they realised the mine was collapsing.

"It was so bad, some were falling and collapsing due to stampede and panic. Some were hit by boulders and I want to believe there are many people who are still trapped underground," he said.

Another artisanal miner, Mr Fanuel Ndlovu who sustained head injuries as they stampeded out of the mine said they were missing one of their colleagues.

"We were taking turns to blast so one of our colleagues who was doing the blasting at the time the mine collapsed is still missing," he said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Miners' Federation spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi described the incident as unfortunate. He urged artisanal miners to always make sure they adhere to safety measures before embarking on their mining activities.
- chronicle
Tags: miners,


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