THE Kwekwe District Civil Protection Unit, which is conducting a search for three artisanal miners who were buried alive following a mineshaft collapse at Yellow Mine in Kwekwe, yesterday clocked four days without success.
The three were reportedly sleeping under a makeshift shade at the mine when a shaft curved in, affecting the ground they were sleeping on.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, said search efforts which begun on Thursday afternoon were yet to yield results.
Kwekwe District CPU acting chairperson, Mr Clemence Muduma, said earth moving machinery on the ground had reached the 50-metre depth but there was no trace of the miners.
“We have an excavator which we are using which was donated by a local businessman but now we have gone 50 meters deep searching around the area where the three were said to be when the tragedy occurred, but still there is nothing yet,” said Mr Muduma.
He said search efforts were ongoing with panicky villagers making police reports for missing persons.
The number of reports for missing persons were now more than the three who were initially said to be at the mine when the tragedy struck.
Indications now suggest the miners were six, but three somehow escaped.
Mr Muduma said chances were now slim that they would be found alive.
“Rescue efforts have been going on since Wednesday but up to now, nothing has been found and hope is fading they could be found, let alone still alive,” he said.
When The Herald visited the scene last Thursday, members of the community and fellow artisanal miners had thronged the area assisting in the rescue efforts.
Mine owner, Mr Obert Maponga, said they had stopped operations prior to the incident.
“We had stopped underground operations due to rains,” said Mr Maponga, who is assisting in the search for the missing miners.