SEVEN miners died at Golden Valley Mine in Kadoma on Monday when operators lost control of the mine skip that was hoisting them out of the mine resulting in it plunging some 800 metres underground.
The National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NMWUZ) confirmed the accident which happened about 18km outside Kadoma along the Sanyati Road. The accident left 11 other miners injured and hospitalised at Kadoma General Hospital.
“The accident happened around 10pm Monday night when 19 workers were being hoisted from the mine shaft and about to go home. The hoist lost control of the Skip resulting in it going backwards without any breaks from Level 1 to Level 23, some 800m underground,” NMWUZ president Tinashe Mugwira said.
“It only stopped when it plunged into a body of water in Level 23 drowning some of the miners and injuring others,” Mugwira, who was at the scene of the accident, said.
Attempts to get a comment from the police were fruitless with Mashonaland West provincial spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabweazara saying he was attending a series of meetings.
Golden Valley human resources manager Charles Musimanga confirmed the accident, but referred all questions to the mine manager Frank Taderera.Taderera’s secretary, who identified herself as Shanon, said he was busy attending to the accident and would get back to our sister paper NewsDay once he was back in office.
Mugwira said his union was shocked by the accident, especially given that it was the duty of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to continually inspect mine machinery without notice.
“We have lost comrades and bread winners in this accident which should not have happened, especially given that we have NSSA inspectors and modern technology which has the capacity to detect failings on equipment before such accidents happen,” Mugwira said.
The NMWUZ has called for fullscale investigations into Golden Valley Mine which employs over 700 workers.
“We want those responsible brought to account and that the safety of our members should be guaranteed before they resume work,” Mugwira added.