SEVEN miners died at Golden Valley Mine in Kadoma on Monday when operators lost control of the mine skip that was hoisting them out of the mine resulting in it plunging some 800 metres underground.
The National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NMWUZ) confirmed the accident which happened about 18km outside Kadoma along Sanyati Road.
The accident also left 11 other miners injured and hospitalised at Kadoma General Hospital.
“The accident happened around 10pm on Monday night when 19 workers were being hoisted from the mine shaft and were about to go home. The hoist lost control of the skip resulting in it going backwards without any brakes from Level 1 to Level 23, some 800m underground,” NMWUZ president Tinashe Mugwira,who was at the scene of the accident, said.
“It only stopped when it plunged into a body of water on Level 23 drowning some of the miners and injuring the others.”
Attempts to get a comment from the police were fruitless with Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara saying he was attending a series of meetings.
Golden Valley human resources manager Charles Msimanga confirmed the accident, but referred all questions to mine manager Frank Taderera.
Taderera’s secretary, who identified herself as Shanon, said he was busy attending to the accident and would get back to NewsDay once he was back in the office. Mugwira said his union was shocked by the accident, especially given that it was the duty of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to continually inspect mine machinery without notice.
“We have breadwinners in this accident which should not have happened, especially given that we have NSSA inspectors and modern technology which has the capacity to detect failings on equipment before such accidents happen,” Mugwira said. In another related tragedy, three people died yesterday when a bus they were travelling in burst its front left tyre and overturned several times near Mvuma along the Harare-Beitbridge Road.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendant Paul Nyathi said two people died on the spot while one died on admission at Mvuma District Hospital. The bus belonging to Quapar Bus Services had 50 people on board.