First Body Pulled From Zimbabwe Gold Mine Disaster
Rescuers on Monday retrieved one body from a disused Zimbabwe gold mine where dozens of informal miners were feared trapped inside since a shaft collapsed last week, officials said
Harare, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Nov, 2020 ) :Rescuers on Monday retrieved one body from a disused Zimbabwe gold mine where dozens of informal miners were feared trapped inside since a shaft collapsed last week, officials said.
Around 40 people are thought to be stuck underground in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres (43 miles) northeast of the capital Harare, where the disaster occurred five days ago.
Six miners were rescued and taken to hospital within hours, after which rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rain and ground water flooding.
Rescuers and volunteers have spent days pumping water out of the flooded shaft, and pulled a first body out of the rubble on Monday.
Munyoro reported the death of another miner who had volunteered to help the rescuers and drowned after a stone knocked him into the flooded tunnel over the weekend.
Scores of miners had been working inside the disused Ran Gold Mine when the ground caved in.
The bulk of gold is extracted by artisanal and small-scale miners, who were responsible for 63 percent of the recorded production last year, according to official statistics.
Those miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55 percent in foreign currency.
The remaining 45 percent is paid in Zimbabwean Dollars, which is notoriously weak and volatile.
Accidents are relatively common in decommissioned mines, particularly when the ground is loosened by downpours.
Munyoro said rain started again on Monday afternoon, shortly after the first body was retrieved, forcing rescuers to pause for the day.