By Abigirl Tembo
TWO people have been confirmed dead and one injured following a mine accident at South Beat mine, a tributary of Globe and Phoenix mine in Kwekwe.
Despite initial reports saying more than 20 miners were trapped underground at Globe and Phoenix mine in Kwekwe, a visit to the area by ZBC News revealed that two people died underground when a stone fell on them. The accident is said to have happened about 200 meters from the entrance of the tunnel.
ZBC news tracked down 22-year-old Tinashe Muchena, the injured miner currently receiving treatment at Kwekwe general hospital.
“We were walking underground and an overhanging rock fell on us, I remember calling the other people I was with. But I could not move, so when people heard my voice they came and removed some of the sand and stones which were covering me that is when I saw that the other guy was not moving and had a lot of blood,” said Tinashe.
According to the Mine Manager, Energy Ncube, they had sent three miners down the shaft.
He said the Civil Protection Department and the Zimbabwe National Army engineers have done a thorough search of the area and there are no victims underground.
“Our people are 3, one is dead, the other one is injured and is at the hospital while one escaped unhurt. Several Engineers have been to the tunnel and nothing has been found beside the two bodies,” he said.
Kwekwe District Administrator, Fortune Mpungu dismissed reports of a higher death toll saying if there were more than five people underground then it means they would have exited using other underground routes.
“Two people have died and one has been injured, 20 is an exaggeration as far as we are aware five people were trapped underground, two came out safely and two died while only one is injured,” he clarified.
Most mines in Kwekwe have been infiltrated by illegal gold miners making it difficult for mine owners to ensure safety procedures as the illegal miners are always playing hide and seek with the authorised miners.
By Abigirl Tembo