‘Number of trapped gold miners at Battlefields could be 50’
THERE are fears that the number of casualties at the Battlefields mine disaster could rise to 50 as more miners could have entered the shafts without being recorded.
However, so far no deaths have been confirmed but time is running out to find survivors.
Initial reports had indicated that 23 miners had entered the pits before floods swept into the pits, washing down shafts and tunnels on Tuesday night.
A supervisor at one of the pits at Cricket Mine, Alex Mbudzi said that they recorded 23 people who entered the pit on the fateful night.
He said: “There were heavy rains on Tuesday night from around 10 pm. However, we did not expect anything bad to happen, but suddenly we found out that water was getting into our cabin while pits were submerged in water.”
He, however, said more illegal miners entered the shafts without permission, raising fears that more people could have perished. Mr Mbudzi ruled out chances of people being found alive.
“There were heavy rains on Tuesday night from around 10pm. However, we did not expect anything bad to happen, but suddenly we found out that water was getting into our cabin while pits were submerged in water,” he said.
A worker at Baxter Mine, Mr Enock Madamombe, said he woke up to find himself immersed in water while sleeping in a cabin before he went to higher ground.
“We had not started work, but the four who entered the mine forced their way in. No one managed to come out of the pit.
“We had diverted water so that it does not affect our operations but the water was too powerful and destroyed the barriers we had put up,” he said.
Mrs Eunica Zvitiki, whose son Xavier Chitiki was trapped, had lost hope that her son would be found alive.
“I know people are saying there is hope that Xavier would be found alive but from what I am seeing and the level of water I saw, there is little chance of that happening. I am preparing for the worst,” she said. — Herald