HARARE – Eight miners were confirmed dead yesterday after being trapped in a shaft while panning for gold at Big Mine in Mazowe on Monday.
The likely cause of the collapse was not revealed, but rescue efforts seemed to have been held up by lack of excavators over the past five days.
Police yesterday confirmed the death of all the eight gold panners.
“Circumstances are that nine gold panners were illegally mining at Big Mine, Masasa area, Mazowe. At around 2200 hours, one of them left the eight deceased at the site while proceeding to a nearby tuck-shop.
“On his return, he discovered that the mine shaft had collapsed, trapping the eight miners,” police spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba said in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, the eight bodies have since been retrieved and conveyed to Concession Hospital mortuary for post mortem.
Of the eight, only James William of village Zindoga under Chief Zindoga Madziwa has been identified.
“The ZRP is conducting investigations into this incident and would like to warn members of the public to consider their safety and the law while embarking in mining activities.
“This is not only dangerous to people as they risk losing their precious lives but it also exposes them to hazardous substances. Police will continue to monitor all mining activities in order to account for illegal dealers,” said Charamba.