Zimbabwe: Survivor of collapsed mine says more bodies trapped despite rescue operations being called off

Author: Zim Eye (Zimbabwe) , Published on: 10 February 2020

‘Mine Disaster Survivor Says More Bodies Are Trapped Underground As Rescue Operations Are Terminated’ 10 February 2020

Twenty-seven-year-old Luckmore Hamandishe came face to face with death when a shaft collapsed at the Globe and Phoenix Mine in Kwekwe. Hamandishe, who said he was among hundreds of artisanal miners that were underground when disaster struck, believes a lot of people perished despite the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) putting the number of the dead at three. On Friday the CPU ended rescue operations at the mine where officially three people died and several were injured after being trapped underground.

The CPU said it could not establish the number of miners that were trapped. Hamandishe said there were more than 200 people around the area when the accident happened and believes that government is understating the extent of the accident to protect bigwigs that were allegedly sending artisanal miners to their deaths at the abandoned mine.

Hamandishe claimed some government officials made sure that the rescue operations were not thorough so that a few bodies would be retrieved and that would protect senior ruling Zanu PF officials who are allegedly behind the illegal mining activities at the mine. Globe and Phoenix Mine is no longer officially operational and has been taken over by artisanal miners who often use unsafe mining methods…On Friday relatives of the missing miners said they were being forced to pay as much as US$400 to people who were volunteering to go underground to search for bodies as the CPU had given up on the operation.

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