By Nqobile Tshili
Two illegal miners from Inyathi who are feared dead after a mine shaft collapsed last Thursday at Finchum Farm were yet to be found yesterday, six days since they were last seen alive.
Hope is now fading for Mr Thompson Khabo (34) and Mr Qhawelihle Moyo (20) to be found alive following the collapse of the 25-metre mine shaft due to heavy rains.
Their family and friends started searching for them last Friday and the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) joined the search on Monday, but the two are yet to be located amid fears that they may have been buried alive.
Bubi District Administrator Mr Tapiwa Zivovoyi, who also heads the CPU in the district, said the search has not yielded positive results so far.
He said since Tuesday they have been using an excavator sought from a local mine in an attempt to locate them.
“They’re still working on the ground, but due to other commitments I’m no longer on the ground. Once they’re found I will get back to you,” Mr Zivovoyi said.
The area’s village head, Mr Petro Masuku, said the search was continuing.
“This is a sad scenario. We’ve been searching since Monday. They’re a lot of people on the ground today. We’ve been working and we’re still trying to find them.
“The challenge we’re experiencing is that there’re many tunnels and we don’t know the one they might have fallen into. We’ve to dig the tunnels one after the other but are getting nothing,” said Mr Masuku.
He said he was convinced that they were close to reaching them.
The prevailing harsh economic environment has been cited as one of the major reasons why illegal miners risk life and limb undertaking unsafe mining activities. The Chronicle