2 Illegal gold panners were reportedly buried alive when the shaft they were working in collapsed in West Nicholson in Gwanda in Matabeleland South Province, the Chronicle reports.
The 2 panners, Kenneth Mathuthu (22) and Prosper Mbedzi from River Block in Collen Bawn reportedly died on the spot after the shaft collapsed.
The unfortunate incident was confirmed by ZRP Matabeleland South provincial spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele who said:
I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case where two illegal gold panners died after a shaft they were working in collapsed. Kenneth Mathuthu and Prosper Mbedzi were working in a 12-metre-deep shaft at Majoda Panning Site in West Nicholson when the shaft collapsed and buried them underneath. The matter was reported to the police who attended the scene and the bodies of the two men were retrieved. They were taken to the Gwanda Provincial Hospital Mortuary
Inspector Ndebele urged miners to formalise their operations to avoid sad incidences like this and said:
It’s sad that we continue to record a number of mine accidents as a result of llegal mining activities which are rampant in the province. If people want to engage in mining they should formalise their operations. By engaging in illegal mining they will not only be committing an offence but they will also be putting their lives at risk as they will be operating without necessary equipment and protective clothing. Some of these illegal miners operate in the early hours of the morning in order to evade police not knowing that they will be risking their lives
More: The Chronicle