15 trapped miners feared dead in Zimbabwe




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HARARE, Zimbabwe – About 15 miners are feared dead Thursday after a mineshaft collapse at the Redwing Mine in Zimbabwe’s Penhalonga area in Manicaland Province, according to an NGO.

James Mupfumi, director at the Centre for Research and Development, told reporters the accident occurred when a shaft at the mine collapsed and trapped gold miners working underground.

He said following a distress call, scores of residents swarmed the mine to try to rescue the miners.

“The ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) is waiting for full information from Officer Commanding Manicaland Police province on the alleged eleven miners trapped at Redwing Mine, Penhalonga. More details will be availed in due course,” National Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said in a statement, that presented a different number of trapped miners.

The mine is owned by the ruling Zanu-PF parliamentarian for the Mabvuku-Tafara constituency in Harare, Pedzisai Scott Sakupwanya.

The Redwing Mine experienced a similar fate last year when two miners died as rumors surfaced about undercover mining after the mine was closed by the Environmental Management Agency because of deadly collapses.

Last January, 26 people were reported killed in collapsed shafts at the mine.

Farai Maguwu, head of the Centre for Natural Resources Governance, a non-governmental organization, blamed the government for the fate of the trapped miners.

“The fate of 15 artisanal miners remains unknown following a mine collapse at Redwing mine. Penhalonga is now a death trap for artisanal miners. We demand that the Ministry of Mines should identify a proper investor for Redwing to stop this carnage. We call on the government to thoroughly investigate this incident and hold the sponsors accountable,” he told reporters.

Source: Anadolu Agency