By Blessings Chidakwa
Two of the four bodies trapped at Cricket Mine in Battlefields were retrieved yesterday morning after 16 days of de-watering.
This brings the death toll to 26 after 24 bodies were retrieved and positively identified last week at Silvermoon Mine.
Retrieved yesterday were bodies of brothers, Cosmick and Xavier Zvitiki. They were aged 43 and 35, respectively.
The pair’s father Mr Joseph Zvikiti had kept vigil at the mine since disaster struck, positively identified his sons’ bodies.
“We are going to bury them tomorrow as we have to allow the funeral services provider to properly dress the bodies so that they are afforded a decent burial,” he said.
Retrieval of the two bodies has given others hope that their relatives still trapped at Cricket No.3 Mine will also be recovered.
In an interview yesterday, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development deputy chief mining engineer, Tapererwa Paskwavaviri, said the bodies were recovered from Level 3 of the mine.
He said they expected to recover the remaining two more bodies within three days.
“We are still de-watering as we understand that the remaining two were working between Levels 4 and 5 so there is still need for us to continue pumping the water out,” he said.
Engineer Paskwavaviri said the de-watering exercise was targeted to reach Level 5, which is about 115m deep.
“We still need to pump out water for another 64m to reach where these people were reportedly working from,” he said.
Tragedy struck on February 12 when torrential rains broke makeshift barriers that were constructed to divert water along a water channel going through the mines.
Cricket No. 3 and Silvermoon Mines have interlinked shafts and tunnels that were flooded after the barriers were swept away during rains trapping miners working underground. The Herald