The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has said that two bodies have been retrieved following the mine collapse incident at Ran Mine in Bindura on Thursday.
Updating the nation on the incident that happened on June 24th 2023, Police said the rescue team successfully retrieved the bodies of two artisanal miners who were trapped in the collapsed shaft. However, it is now being suspected that five other miners remain trapped, with the rescue team working to access the area where they are presumed to be.
“Update on mine trapping incident at Ran Mine, Bindura. On 24/06/23, two bodies of the trapped artisanal miners were retrieved. It is being suspected that five other artisanal miners remain trapped in the mine,” the Police said on its Twitter page.
According to Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Mashonaland Central Chairperson, Christina Munyoro, the trapped individuals might have dug through supporting pillars, leading to the fall of ground.
Ran Mine was closed 13 years ago and retrenched workers remained behind to informally mine for residual gold.
In 2020 Dozens of informal miners were trapped underground after blasting some of the pillars which led to the collapse of the disused gold mine.
The Ran Mine tragedy is not an isolated incident, as mine accidents in Zimbabwe have been on the rise with the country recording 125 accidents and 139 fatalities during the first three quarters of 2022. The figures are of great concern to the government, which has been working to establish more stringent penalties for mines that fail to uphold safety and health standards.
In 2019 Zimbabwe recorded a total of 116 accidents with these resulting in 182 fatalities, recording an increase in accidents in 2020 recording 158 accidents however with a visible decrease in fatalities recording 169 fatalities. In 2021, the country recorded a decrease in both accidents and fatalities as compared to the previous year with 121 accidents and 139 fatalities. As at 30 September 2022, the country recorded 125 accidents and 139 fatalities.