Africa

Zimbabwe: 24 bodies retrieved from flooded mine

Rescue workers fear dozens more illegal miners trapped inside mine

Ekip   | 17.02.2019
Zimbabwe: 24 bodies retrieved from flooded mine

Ankara

By John Cassim 

KADOMA, Zimbabwe 

Twenty-four bodies of illegal gold miners were on Saturday night retrieved from flooded shafts in Zimbabwe, a government official has confirmed. 

Deputy Mines Minister Polite Kambamura told Anadolu Agency that all bodies have been identified. 

“We have retrieved 24 bodies so far from one shaft, some of the relatives of the deceased have already identified them," Kambamura said. 

Search and rescue operations remained ongoing in the area, the deputy minister added.  

At least 50 illegal gold miners were feared dead on Tuesday night when heavy rains led to flooding of disused Silvermoon and Cricket mines near gold-rich town of Kadoma, 170 kilometers southwest of the capital Harare. 

The rescue operation was delayed by four days due to heavy rains and lack of adequate water pumps.  

However, eight survivors -- out of more than 50 suspected to have been trapped -- were rescued Saturday morning. 

Silvermoon and Cricket mines are connected and are being mined by illegal young gold miners, owing to harsh economic conditions and high unemployment rate. 

The government has declared the mine flooding accident a national disaster. 

Zimbabwe's economy is in crisis with an unemployment rate of 80 percent.

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