Government has appealed to mining companies in Mashonaland West Province to assist in rescuing artisanal miners trapped underground after a mine shaft collapsed at Bay Horse Mine in Chegutu on Friday.
21 of the illegal miners escaped death. Eight were rescued between Friday night and Saturday morning with four currently in hospital with varying degrees of injury.
Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Marian Chombo said 10 people have been confirmed dead, while four bodies have since been retrieved.
The bodies were taken to Chegutu District Hospital mortuary.
Addressing relatives of the trapped people, artisanal miners and Bay Horse community members, Chombo said:
We are not sure of the number but we are told that 42 artisanal miners went underground, but the number could be more since some get inside the mine using undesignated entry points.
I want to thank the local community and fellow artisanal miners who reacted swiftly to rescue eight people alive and retrieve four bodies.
We are now seeking assistance from big mines like Zimplats, Golden Valley and Pickstone Mine among other mines to help in the search for miners still trapped underground.
The mines have expertise and other machines and equipment that could be helpful.
The Herald reported that Afrochine had by Saturday sent a team of electricians and mining technicians together with equipment to the mine.
The equipment included diesel water pumps to deal with rising water levels in the shaft and to crack a huge bolder.
Bay Horse Mine is a few kilometres from Cricket Mine in Battlefields, also in Mashonaland West Province, which collapsed and killed 23 illegal gold miners in 2019.
Chombo appealed to small-scale miners to be careful in their operations to avoid putting their lives in danger. – (Pindula)