By Conrad Mupesa
Chegutu district Civil Protection Unit yesterday evening rescued one person and retrieved three bodies of the artisanal miners who were trapped under Elvington Mine’s disused shaft on Thursday.
The rescued miner, who sustained injuries on one of his legs, was rushed to Chegutu District Hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition while the three bodies were also taken to the same hospital’s mortuary.
The five miners were trapped around 4 am on Thursday when a shaft they were working in gave in and collapsed before one managed to escape and look for help.
Artisanal miners entering the shaft to rescue the trapped miners
Government chief mining engineer, Mr. Michael Munodawafa, yesterday confirmed the breakthrough after retrieving two bodies and one survivor.
“We have managed to retrieve two bodies this (yesterday) evening and one survivor. The survivor was trapped by the leg and is in hospital,” he said.
Acting Chegutu district development coordinator’s Ms. Auxillia Matambanadzo said the third body was retrieved later yesterday evening.
“We managed to retrieve all the trapped artisanal miners. Three bodies were taken to the mortuary and the survivor was taken to Chegutu District Hospital. Operations have since been stopped,” she said.
Artisanal miners take turns to rescue the trapped miners yesterday afternoon
While the CPU had requested assistance from Zimplats and Pickstone Mines, inspectors and engineers from the Mines and Minerals Development Ministry, however, opted for manual retrieval of the trapped miners as the ground was shaky, making it difficult for machinery to be used.
The rescue operation was manually conducted by other artisanal miners with guidance from the Ministry of Mines.
Meanwhile, provincial Civil Protection Unit chairperson, Mr. Josphat Jaji discouraged artisanal miners from entering disused mines, particularly during this rainy season as it posed a great danger to their lives. The Herald