Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gold panner is feared dead in Mazowe after a mine shaft collapsed last week and his friends escaped leaving him behind

ONE illegal gold panner is feared dead after the mine shaft from which he was mining with eight others collapsed in Mazowe last Wednesday.
Saviours Chisare who is believed to be in the early 40s was trapped in a 30 metre shaft on Mount Masasa at around 11am.
Police spokesperson chief superintendent Paul Nyathi could neither confirm or deny the incident.
“I am in the process of contacting the police in Bindura who are on the ground to ascertain the real situation. Get in touch tomorrow (today) and I might have all the information regarding the incident,” he said.
When The Herald visited the area, eight gold panners were seen cooking next to the collapsed mine shaft while another was being lowered using a makeshift pulley.
Biggie Chibanda who was with Chisare when the tragic incident occurred said they tried to retrieve his body for the past week with failure.
“We were nine when we entered the shaft and on the way out, soil and stones started falling. We advised him to come out, but he said he wanted to fill his sack with rubble.
“We dropped a rope for him to come out, but he failed to reach for it since more stones were falling. He ducked to reinforcing pillars where he shouted he was trapped to knee level with stones.
“We entered again to rescue and while pulling his hand, the winch was disturbed and more stoned fell on him and that was the last time we heard from him,” he said.
He said police officers came in three separate groups and said they could not do anything to help.
Chibanda said they were mulling panning to raise money such that they can hire an excavator and extract the body of Chisare.
“Last year in November another panner known as MaRubber was trapped and his body has not been retrieved,” he said pointing five metres away where they had placed plastics to cover opening.
Source: Herald

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