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5 Chegutu Gold Panners Trapped As Mine Collapses

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent


FIVE artisanal miners, who were Tuesday trapped after a 110-metre mine shaft they were working in collapsed, have not been rescued.

The incident happened at Task Mine in Chegutu at around 4:30 pm. The five miners who are still trapped underground were identified as Crynos Nyamukanga (age not given), Munashe Nyamukanga (17), Shingai Gwatidzo (20), Costantino Dzinoreva (age not given), and another only identified as Charles.

Sources close to the development told NewZimbabwe.com inspectors from the provincial Mines Ministry in Chinhoyi led by Ashton Sunga got to the scene Wednesday night around 10 pm to assess the situation, but could not render any help to the trapped miners.

“They could not engage in any rescue efforts citing that they were not aware of the shaft plan and that it was dark,” said a source.

By Wednesday, sources said there were still signs of life as a movement underground could be heard, suggesting there could be survivors.

There are no underground plans since the shafts are being operated by artisanal miners, hence the need to have a proper ground survey before engaging in any rescue effort, sources further said.

All artisanal miners illegally prospecting in shafts surrounding the collapsed mine have since been cleared by police.

A rescue mission has since started under the supervision of the Ministry of Mines inspectors and artisanal mines with the knowledge of the area.

Efforts to get a comment from the mine owner, Temson Musonza, and the Chegutu Civil Protection Unit (CPU), which is spearheading the rescue efforts, were fruitless at the time of publishing.