Three trapped gold panners are yet to be rescued after the tunnel they were working in collapsed in Shurugwi over a week ago.
The three panners, who were part of a 7-member group, have been trapped underground since last Sunday.
The Shurugwi District Civil Protection Unit on Friday stopped the search for the panners due to unstable ground.
Chief engineer in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Engineer Michael Munodawafa said they have to find other means to reach the trapped miners. He said:
The rescue operation had been going on from Sunday to Friday before they reached an unstable ground level.
It became dangerous for the rescue team to continue digging. So they are now attempting other ways or channels of reaching them.
According to Eng Munodawafa, the chances of finding the trio alive were now very slim.
He said the three entered the mine at around 7 pm last week while their four colleagues remained outside. Said Munodawafa:
At around 4 am there was a huge sound as the ground collapsed. Entrance into the tunnel was closed and there hasn’t been any form of communication with the three since Sunday. The other four then looked for assistance.
Munodawafa also said that from January to date, 22 illegal miners have lost their lives when shafts and tunnels caved in countrywide.