GOVERNMENT has appealed to mining companies in Mashonaland West province to assist in rescue efforts for over 10 illegal miners believed to be still trapped underground at Bay Horse Mine in Chegutu.
Ten miners were confirmed dead yesterday, while rescue efforts were still underway for the remainder, with the rescue teams using rudimentary equipment in the exercise.
Twenty-one artisanal miners were rescued with four receiving treatment at Chegutu District Hospital following the disaster which struck on Friday.
Addressing journalists and rescue teams after visiting the accident scene yesterday, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Marian Chombo said 10 people have been confirmed dead, while four bodies have since been retrieved.
“We are not sure of the number but we are told that 42 artisanal miners went underground, but the number could be more since some get inside the mine using undesignated entry points,” Chombo said.
She appealed to big mining companies in Mashonaland West including ZimPlats, Pickstone and Golden Valley to dispatch rescue machinery to the site.
“We appeal to big mining companies like ZimPlats, Golden Valley and others to come and help retrieve the bodies trapped underground” Chombo said.
A provincial civil protection committee has set up base at the mine as rescue operations continue.
Husain Phiri, who is leading the rescue mission, told journalists on Saturday that the rock was also holding the shaft wall from collapsing and they cannot do any blasting,
Phiri also indicated that the shaft pillars had collapsed, making it difficult to reach out to the trapped miners.
The mine is a few kilometres from Cricket Mine in Battlefields, Mashonaland West, which collapsed and killed 23 illegal gold miners in 2019.-newsday