President mourns accident victims

01 Oct, 2023 - 00:10 0 Views
President mourns accident victims

The Sunday Mail

Sunday Mail Reporters

PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA has mourned victims of the Murowa Diamonds plane crash and Bay Horse Mine accident, which occurred on Friday in Mashava and Chegutu, respectively.

Addressing the Central Committee meeting at ZANU PF Headquarters, President Mnangagwa requested members to observe a moment of silence for the victims, as well as the country’s national and provincial heroes and heroines who passed away in recent months.

The Murowa Diamonds plane crash happened in Zvamahande area in Mashava on Friday, while the Bay Horse Mine shaft collapse took place in Chegutu on the same day.

“We had a mining incident last night. May we, in remembrance of our colleagues and those who lost their lives in accidents on the ground and the plane crash, rise and observe a moment of silence,” President Mnangagwa                                                                                   said.

Giving an update on the two accidents to Central Committee members, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga said the victims would receive State-assisted funerals.

“Your Excellency, last night we had an accident at Chakari. This is a disused former German mine. However, when it was reopened, the new owner did not take necessary precautions, which saw the 34 miners being trapped,” he said.

“First to be rescued were 13 miners, and then followed by eight, bringing the total to 21. Three bodies were retrieved, five are still in there and have been located. So, we believe we might have lost about 13.

“Also yesterday, the owner of Murowa Diamonds and his son, as well as four other members, were involved in a plane crash.

“I was in Chirumanzu when the accident happened. It was bad weather. Arrangements have been done for the State to assist with burials.”

To date, nine people have been confirmed dead at the Bay Horse Mine shaft in Chegutu.

Efforts are underway to retrieve the remaining six that are visible but still buried under debris.

The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has also been activated, with a command centre being set up at the mine.

Four other miners are still to be accounted for, although having been confirmed to be part of the teams that were underground when the shaft caved in.

Speaking at the site yesterday, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Dr Polite Kambamura said efforts were underway to account for everyone.

“There were 34 people underground when the accident occurred. Out of the 34 miners, 21 survived and escaped with injuries,” he said.

“Out of the remaining 13, nine have been confirmed dead and we have retrieved three bodies that have been taken to mortuary.

“We are making frantic efforts to retrieve the other dead bodies and locate the other four, as we try to account for everyone,” he said.

In an interview, chief mining engineer in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Mr Michael Munodawafa said the operation to retrieve the bodies was going to be done in a way that gives dignity to the deceased.

“We will use an expansive motor that will simply break the rock without causing any movement of the ground or further crush the bodies.

“This will make it easy to remove the pieces of rock,” he said.

One of the survivors, Mr Trevor Murombedzi, narrated the tragic accident that led to the death of his brother, Tendai (23).

“We noticed signs that the roof of the mine was about to give in and we tried to escape.

“Unfortunately, the large piece of ground above us caved in,” he said.

“I escaped unhurt together with the other three that I was working with from a group of nine.

“The other five, including my brother, were trapped by the ground.”

As the sombre atmosphere continues to envelope the mine site, relatives of the trapped are optimistic that their loved ones are among the four that are believed to be still alive.

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