KAROI — Five illegal gold panners, two of them brothers, choked and died from fumes emitted from a petrol pump they were using to drain underground water in a mine shaft.
The incident reportedly happened last Wednesday in Dambanzara village, Kasimure, Karoi.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the incident and identified the victims as brothers Silas (29) and Repeat Manyuchi (26), Malvin Mukore (23), Christopher Nyarugwe (23) and Rino Simbi (23), all from the same village.
Mabgweazara said the five and another unidentified person who survived, were draining water from the mine shaft when the petrol-powered pump started producing thick fumes which choked them, instantly killing the five panners.
The survivor who fled out of the mine was reportedly rushed to Mhangura Hospital where he was treated and discharged. Police have warned the public against engaging in illegal prospecting for minerals.