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Zimbabwe: Three illegal miners crushed to death in diamond mine

Zimbabwe: Three illegal miners crushed to death in diamond mine

Zimbabwe

Three illegal miners have been crushed to death by falling rock in Zimbabwe’s best-known diamond mine, the Chiadzwa diamond fields in the country’s east.

According to the state broadcaster, Zimbabbwe Broadcasting Corporation, (ZBC) police divers were searching for more victims believed to have been trapped by the accident.

Some 15 miners are feared to have been crushed even though only three deaths have so far been confirmed as per ZBC’s main evening news bulletin of Wednesday. At least one panner has also been seriously injured.

It is feared that the number could rise to 15 and police have since widened their search by incorporating the sub-aqua units to search for others suspected to have drowned

“It is feared that the number could rise to 15 and police have since widened their search by incorporating the sub-aqua units to search for others suspected to have drowned,” ZBC reported.

The Mugabe-led ZANU PF government last week announced that mining firms had to quit their concessions with immediate effect, a situation that led to most illegal miners (panners) flocking the Chiadzwa fields (also known as Marange).

Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC) one of the evicted companies on whose concession the accident happened complained that since the eviction order, panners and looters had invaded their concession.

Reports in local media quote government ministers as saying the affected firms were operating without licences. It is also believed that they did not want to merge to form a single entity, as ordered by the state.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s mining minister Walter Chidakwa had earlier denied reports of looting on Wednesday in a local newspaper.

“There is no looting and systems are not collapsing in Chiadzwa. There are people who are disappointed by the minister’s move and naturally they will find ways of denigrating the process,” he was quoted as saying.

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