Flooding of mines in Zimbabwe leaves 24 dead, dozens more missing
21 February 2019
On Sunday, the bodies of 24 miners were recovered from Silver Moon Mine and Cricket Mine in Kadoma, after heavy rains last week caused the collapse of a dam wall, resulting in the massive flooding of the two mines. At around midnight on Wednesday, February 13, the wall of water exploded from the dam and surged into the mines, completely flooding the tunnels where several dozen miners were reported to have descended.
The two mines, adjacent to one another in an area known as Battlefields, share three linked shafts which run 30 meters (about 100 feet deep) with 20-meter-wide tunnels (65 feet). The massive flood completely filled the mine’s tunnels to the surface.
The town of Kadoma, over 100 miles from the capital city, Harare, is the center of mining industry in the Mashonaland West province that holds significant deposits of gold, copper and nickel.
An estimated 70 miners are believed to have been inside the mine when the flood occurred. Of this number, only eight have been rescued alive. With around 40 missing and still unaccounted for, rescue workers stated to the media Sunday that they have little hope of finding survivors.
Describing the terror of the moment flood waters rushed into the mines, Charles Mwenye, a 41-year-old survivor, told the UK Guardian that four friends were with him in the shaft. “I could have been the one trapped underground too. When I was on my way out of the shaft, I saw a flood coming straight in … Thank God I am alive. The police came yesterday and today but nothing has been done. All my hope is lost now.”
Many of the disaster’s victims were jobless youth under the age of 30. Depicting the gravity of the tragedy, Lovejoy Mbedzi spoke…