Boulder crushes mine worker

By Whinsley Masara

A worker at Blanket Mine in Gwanda died when a boulder fell on him while working in a mine shaft. Tapiwa Ndabanengi (27) died in a 15-metre deep mine while working in the company of Tererai Bvovonye (38) at around 10PM on Friday.

Matabeleland South Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident.

“I can confirm the sudden death of a miner who died when a boulder fell on him. Colleagues retrieved him but he was already dead,” he said.

Insp Ndebele urged members of the public to desist from mining in unsecured shafts.

“In the past we have held campaigns to sensitise miners on the need to ensure their mining operations are safe but accidents continue. We urge miners to ensure their mines are inspected regularly,” he said.

A source said the boulder hit Ndabanengi on the head and he died on the spot.

The body was retrieved on the same day.“A boulder fell on Ndabanengi, hitting him on the back of the head and he sustained a deep cut. He fell from where he was working and was suspended by his safety chain,” said the source.

“When Bvovonye heard the sound of the crumbling boulder, he went down to check on Ndabanengi who was no longer responding to his calls but was still hanging on the safety chains. He rushed out of the shaft to seek help from other mine workers and they managed to retrieve the body.”

The matter was reported at Gwanda Police Station and the body was taken to Gwanda Provincial Hospital Mortuary. The Chronicle