At least eight illegal miners have been confirmed dead in Zimbabwe after a mine shaft they were working in collapsed.
The state-run ZBC is reporting that at least four of the miners were above ground at Big Mine, but were sucked into the collapsing shaft.
One miner only escaped the tragedy in the gold-rich district of Mazowe, where the First Family has extensive land and business interests, because he had left the mine to fetch provisions at a nearby shop, according to the report.
“Upon his return he discovered that the mine shaft had collapsed trapping the eight miners,” the ZBC said, quoting a statement from police spokesperson Charity Charamba.
“The ZRP would like to urge members of the public who are missing relatives to visit Concession Hospital Mortuary and identify the deceased,” she added.
Zimbabwe’s illegal gold miners, known locally as “makorokoza”, work in dangerous conditions in disused or poorly dug shafts.
In a very similar incident, at least eight illegal miners were reported killed last September when a shaft collapsed on them at a gold mine they’d overrun, also in the Mazowe Valley