6 Miners Perish in Water Burst Accident
5 August 2023
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Bubi District, Matabeleland North Province – A devastating incident at Lilian Mine has claimed the lives of six miners and left the region in shock. Eight other miners fortunately survived the sudden gush of water that inundated a tunnel they were working in, trapping them underground. The tragic accident occurred on Wednesday around midnight, leaving the community mourning the loss of hardworking individuals and highlighting the risks miners face daily.

The mine, owned by Mr. Siqeduthando Ncube, now stands as a grim reminder of the dangers lurking beneath the surface. Engineer Michael Munodawafa, the chief mining engineer from the Ministry of Mining and Mining Development, reported that there were 14 people in two working areas when the incident occurred. In one of the working areas, two people lost their lives when the water burst, carrying away the ore they were working on and impacting the other side.

The underground water burst breached the wall separating an older mining area from a new one, pushing ore and workers into the tunnel. In one area, four miners lost their lives, and three managed to escape. Tragically, five of the deceased hailed from Nkayi District, and one was from Kusile District.

Engineer Munodawafa expressed that this catastrophe could have been averted if the miners had been aware of the presence of the older mine. It emphasizes the importance of proper knowledge and precautions in preventing such painful losses.

As mourners gathered at Mr. Ncube’s homestead, he remained silent and declined to comment when approached by the media. The mine continued its operations, with Mr. Ncube being supported by his neighbors during this difficult time.

At the accident scene, a yellow compressor and various pipes indicated attempts to pump out water. The police confirmed the tragic incident on their Twitter account, stating that 14 miners were extracting gold ore when they accidentally hit an underground water source, leading to the flooding of the mine tunnels. Eight miners managed to escape, but the bodies of the deceased have been retrieved.

The Matabeleland North Provincial Spokesperson, Inspector Glory Banda, named five of the deceased miners: Matthew Sibanda (30) of Sesamba Village in Nkayi, Bhekani Tshuma (25) from Sibombo in Lupane, Bruce Clive Tshuma (21) of Matsholozane Village in Nkayi, Mengezi Mpofu (23) of Mutshethe Village, Nkayi, and Ndabezinhle Bhebhe (27) of Sesemba, Nkayi.

The tragic event has sent shockwaves through the community, and as investigations continue, authorities and mining companies are urged to take even more stringent measures to safeguard the lives of miners working tirelessly underground.