By Walter Nyamukondiwa
An illegal miner was trapped to death, while another died on admission at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital after a rock fell in Level 5 Shaft at Eldorado Mine on Saturday night. Over 20 people have now died in the mine in the last few months.
Police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the incident yesterday saying investigations were still in progress.
“Preliminary investigations show that one person was trapped in the mine after a rock fell while another one was rescued and taken to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital.
“Initially we got a higher number of people said to have been trapped, but so far we only have two people affected. Investigations are still in progress,” he said.
The body of the illegal miner, who died underground, has not yet been retrieved. The other body is at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital mortuary.
There are fears that more people could still be trapped underground.
Government ordered the sealing of all access points at the mine following the death of 14 illegal miners in September last year when a shaft collapsed.
Level 12 Shaft collapsed trapping 14 illegal miners.
With the lower levels now filled with water, illegal miners are now operating between levels 1 and 5, which have become more dangerous owing to insecure structures.
Sources near the mine said people continued to use illegal access points reopened after an order to seal them by Government.
The sources alleged that some illegal miners were paying their way into the mine.
Personnel at the mine denied knowledge of the mishap saying protagonists in the ownership dispute were spreading rumours to forestall reopening of the mine.
“The mine is set for formal reopening soon and we are expecting the owners to come and shed light on the way forward.
“When the collapse occurred last year, we were set for reopening and the development affected everything,” said a man at the premises, who declined to be named.
The mine was at the centre of an ownership wrangle between two Chinese nationals which left a vacuum exploited by artisanal miners. The Herald