BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
TWO people died and another one was critically injured after a mineshaft collapsed at Stembok Mine in Insiza in Matabeleland South province last Wednesday.
Acting provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Stanford Mguni confirmed the incident.
“The accident occurred at 7pm at the Stembok Mine in Insiza block Filabusi. It is a registered mine. A team of six mine workers were on duty and three of them remained above the ground while three went underground in a 12-metre deep shaft,” Mguni said.
“Two were completely buried while the third one was half buried up to about neck level and he managed to shout for help. His workmates managed to rescue him,” he said.
Mguni said while the workmates were trying to rescue the one who was half buried, the mine shaft collapsed again burying the two miners and they could not be retrieved.
“They went to report to the police who came and assisted to retrieve their bodies,” he said.
Mguni urged miners to practise safe mining methods to avoid accidents.
“Through campaigns, we have been calling on miners to practise safe mining methods to avoid such fatalities. Miners should also often assess their shafts to make sure that they are safe to work on,” he said.
“They can even hire safety experts from the Mines ministry to help them assess and they should also buy safety wear when getting underground.”
Cases of artisanal miners dying in mineshafts have been increasing with rescue teams usually failing to retrieve trapped bodies.