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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Fatal Gold Mine Accident in Zimbabwe Claims the Lives of at Least Nine Workers

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A devastating accident occurred on Friday as an informal gold mine shaft collapsed in Zimbabwe, resulting in the loss of at least nine miners’ lives, according to reports from the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) and an engineer present at the site. ZMF President Henrietta Rushwaya revealed on Saturday that four bodies had been recovered thus far, while five others remained trapped under the rubble. However, rescue operations are being hindered by the unstable condition of the shaft.

Fatal Gold Mine Accident in Zimbabwe Claims the Lives of at Least Nine Workers

Mine engineer Hussein Phiri explained the challenges faced during recovery efforts, stating, “It is difficult to retrieve the bodies because the mine is still collapsing. Each time we try, it becomes a threat to our lives as well.” The incident occurred at the Bay Horse Mine in Chegutu, located approximately 120 kilometers west of the capital city, Harare.

Johannes Nyautete, one of the fortunate miners who escaped the collapse, recounted the terrifying experience, saying, “The mine collapsed as I entered with a colleague. We encountered other colleagues, numbering about 18 or 20, who were rushing out, and we all managed to escape together.”

Mining Minister Soda Zhemu, who arrived at the scene to oversee the rescue efforts, confirmed that 21 miners had survived the collapse. He further stated that three additional miners were believed to be missing, with their whereabouts unknown. Throughout Saturday afternoon, several hundred local residents anxiously awaited news of their family members or colleagues as rescue workers made arduous attempts to recover the bodies from the mine.

Illegal mining is prevalent in Zimbabwe due to the struggling economy, often leading to hazardous working conditions. Zhemu commented on the cause of numerous accidents and incidents, saying, “What I would say as being the cause of so many accidents and incidents is a result of irresponsible mining, where proper precautions that should be observed are not being undertaken.”Fatal Gold Mine Accident in Zimbabwe Claims the Lives of at Least Nine Workers

Unfortunately, accidents are not uncommon in the mineral-rich country. In 2019, heavy rains in central Zimbabwe caused an abandoned pit to flood, resulting in the deaths of 24 miners.

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