Rescue efforts to retrieve the bodies of gold panners at Task Mine in Chegutu who were trapped underground after the shaft they were working in collapsed about a month ago have been suspended because there is no hope of finding survivors and more lives could be lost in the dangerous shaft, The Herald reports.
The Local government deputy minister Marian Chombo revealed the Civil Protection Unit (CPU)’s desire to abandon the rescue mission because the mission could endanger more people:
The role of Civil Protection Unit, through its decentralised structures, is to coordinate operations while technical expertise come from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
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To date, from the reports they have sent to us, they’ve indicated that we need to abandon the rescue efforts due to the continuous collapse of the shaft.
However the chairman of the committee is to report to Cabinet on the technical advice given by the subnational structures. In this case, Cabinet will make the final decision.
While CPU Director Nathan Nkomo said they were waiting for the cabinet’s decision before sealing off the shaft as the effective grave of the trapped miners:
We can’t put a final closure on the rescue effort as we are guided by the Cabinet’s decision. As the Civil Protection Unit, we acted upon recommendations provided by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development which has been an integral part in the rescue efforts of the five trapped miners.
We took seriously the recommendations given by Mines officials and decided to suspend rescue efforts until Cabinet’s decision on the way forward as was done to the Chimanimani Cyclone Idai rescue efforts. As CPU, we acted to save the lives of the rescuers who faced the danger of getting trapped by unstable ground,
The trapped miners include relatives Crynos Nyamukanga (44) Shingai Gwatidzo (20) and Munashe Christian (17). and Constantino Dzinoreva (47) and Charles Mutume (31).
More: The Herald