TWO suspected gold panners were on Sunday night crushed to death and two others seriously injured when they were run over by a truck they had reportedly intended using to transport stolen gold ore from Jilongwe Mine in West Nicholson.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Christopher Ngwenya confirmed the accident, but could not give further details saying they were still sketchy.
However, reliable sources said the truck had gone to Jilongwe Mine to transport some stolen gold ore from a disused mine when gunshots were fired into the air in the dark.
The driver of the truck only identified as Memory, reportedly took off with his headlights off to evade detection while the other four who had been loading the gold ore into the truck took to their heels.
The truck driver did not notice that his accomplices were running in front of the truck and ran over them in the ensuing mêlée crushing two of them to death on the spot.
Their bodies were taken to Gwanda Provincial Hospital mortuary while the injured ones were transferred to a Bulawayo hospital.
It could, however, not be established whether the truck driver had been arrested or whether the truck had been recovered by the time of going to print.