Five suspected gold panners from Kwekwe were killed, while another one escaped with minor injuries after a disused mine shaft they were working in collapsed.The incident occurred on December 22 at around 10pm at Indarama Mine on the outskirts of Kwekwe when six illegal gold miners were trapped in a disused mine shaft after which, the ground gave in following heavy rains.
The deceased have been identified as Majaha Mupinga, Mkhululi Sibanda, Simangaliso Mpofu, Chamunorwa Shoko and Morgen Mpofu, all of Amaveni high-density suburb.
According to witnesses, the deceased together with their colleague, Mr Enock Mbulayi, sneaked into Indarama Gold Mine premises where they started extracting gold in one of the disused mine shafts. The witnesses alleged that while they were underground, the mine collapsed and they got trapped. “The six men went to Indarama Mine at around 10pm where most of the illegal gold panners extract gold from some of the disused mine shafts. While they were working underground, the shaft collapsed trapping all six of them.”
One of the miners, Mr Mbulayi, who was a few metres from the surface cried out for help and was rescued.
“He managed to escape with minor injuries.”
The witnesses said the other five could not be rescued alive as they were trapped deep underground and it took time for people to reach them.
“The other five died before they could be retrieved. Their bodies were retrieved the following day after police were informed, and the bodies were taken to Kwekwe District Hospital,” said the source.
Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko, said he was still to get a report.
“I am not aware of the incident. I was not around the whole of last week. I had gone for the Christmas holiday. I will furnish with you with details once I make a follow up with the responsible stations,” he said.