Prisca Manyiwa in Kwekwe
Kwekwe Civil Protection Unity Chairperson Fortune Mupungu says searching for trapped bodies at Globe and Phoenix mine is still ongoing following the collapse of one of the shafts on Friday last week.
Speaking during an emergency Civil Protection Unity meeting at Kwekwe District Coordinator’s offices Monday afternoon, Mupungu said three bodies were retrieved from the shaft on Saturday and the search was still underway since there are assumptions that more bodies might have been trapped underground.
The Ministry of Mines in conjunction with the Zimbabwe National Army engineers and the Zimbabwe Republic Police are working on blasting a big rock which collapsed in the shafts so as to be sure that there are no other bodies trapped under the rock.
“Search operations are still on at Globe and Phoenix mine following the incident of the collapse of one of the shafts at the mine.
“Three bodies were retrieved and one person was also rescued and sent to the General hospital. However, the searching is still on because the information we have is not conclusive,” said Mupungu.
An expect from the Ministry of Mines who also assessed the situation at the mine said there was need to do more technical work on the ground which includes blasting of the huge rock to ascertain if there are no other people trapped underneath.
“The rock which collapsed is very big so we are working on blasting it to make sure that there are no other people who are trapped.
“The mine itself is no longer safe for operations; it is a threat to human life because the pillars were destroyed by illegal miners so it is no longer safe,” said Chisangowerota William from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
However, there is a security challenge on the mine since there are various entries into the mine such that they are difficult to guard and control as illegal miners will still sneak into the mine.
“The challenge we have is that there are many entry points that lead into the mine, the mine owners have their own security but it is a challenge for them to man all the entry points because illegal miners always find their way inside,” said Mupungu.