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Eight illegal miners die in mine explosion

By Fungai Lupande

Eight illegal gold miners died while one sustained serious injuries and two escaped unhurt on Sunday evening when an explosive suspected to be a dynamite went off underground at Metallon Gold’s Jumbo Mine in Mazowe.

Inspector Petros Masikati
Inspector Petros Masikati

Mashonaland Central police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Petros Masikati confirmed the incident, saying four bodies have been identified but the names are being withheld until their next of kin have been advised.

“The incident occurred on May 26 at around 10pm at Metallon Gold Mine in Mazowe. A team of 11 illegal miners entered Jumbo Mine on May 25 at around 6pm,” said Ass Insp Masikati.

“The group entered through the connaught main shaft which is inside the mine complex, a place guarded by security guards. The following day on May 26 while the group was passing through level two intending to go to level nine an explosive believed to be a dynamite went off.

“The explosive is believed to have been set by another team of illegal gold miners whose identify is yet to be ascertained. The blast claimed the lives of the eight, one of them was blown to pieces while the others succumbed to head injuries

“Two escaped unhurt and another, who sustained a fractured hand and bruises is admitted at Concession Hospital. A report was made at Jumbo police base and they attended the scene.

“The bodies of the miners were retrieved by the mine’s rescue team and sent to Concession Mortuary,”

Asst Insp Masikati said investigations are underway.

“We regret the loss of life and we encourage people to regularise their mining activities. When people get proper documentation for their mining activities they will be able to practise safe mining and know the requirements to safeguard their lives,” said Asst Insp Masikati. The Chronicle

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