By Paidashe Mandivengerei
AT LEAST 23 artisanal miners have died after some interlinked tunnels and shafts at two mines in Battlefields, near Kadoma got flooded with water when they were still underground.
The tragic incident which ranks as the worst mine disasters in recent years occurred on Wednesday.
The disaster has been linked to heavy rains which have pounded Kadoma this week causing a dam wall collapse resulting in the flooding of the two mines’ tunnels.
According to Mhondoro-Ngezi administrator, Fortunate Muzulu a dozen miners entered the 30 metre deep mine shafts without the owners’ knowledge.
The Silver Moon and Cricket Zim mines are owned by RioZim and one Baxter and RioZim respectively.
Speaking to a local publication after visiting the site, RioZim spokesperson, Wilson Gwatiringa said that from information gathered, more than 20 miners were trapped.
“The shafts where artisanal miners were working on Tuesday night were flooded during the night, trapping them underground.
“Efforts are underway to pump the water to enable rescue teams to work.
“I am not sure how many people are trapped but estimates from their colleagues say above 20,” he said.
The shafts were flooded to the surface further reducing the chances of any miner surviving the tragedy.