TRAGEDY: 6 gold miners drown after flood trapped them in mine tunnel

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Six artisanal miners lost their lives yesterday after a drilling accident resulted in flooding of the tunnel where they were extracting gold ore.

According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, a group of 14 miners were drilling in the Lilian Mine when their drillers hit an underground stream of water. This caused serious flooding in the narrow mine tunnels.

While eight of the miners managed to escape in time, six others became trapped in the rising waters and drowned. Following the tragic accident, rescue crews were able to retrieve the victims’ bodies.

Just last September, two miners died and three were injured in a separate accident at the same Lilian Mine site when a mine shaft collapsed. Local police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda said at the time that a rock fell about 130 meters, trapping six people.

Unsafe mining conditions and lack of proper safety equipment appear to be ongoing problems at Lilian Mine and other artisanal gold mines across Zimbabwe, resulting in frequent accidents and loss of life. The government will need to improve mine safety inspections and enforcement to help prevent such tragedies.

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