23 artisanal miners feared dead in Zimbabwe after flooding

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Harare: At least 23 illegal gold miners were feared dead on Thursday in the town of Kadoma, 145 kilometres from here after water flooded two disused shafts.

Rescuers were trying to use pumps to extract water in the search for survivors and bodies at the site.

“We heard from their colleagues that at least 23 people are trapped in the mine shaft which was flooded by water from a dam wall which burst due to heavy rains, Tuesday night,” Wilson Gwatiringa, spokesman for mining company ‘RioZim’, owners of one of the mines.

“One of them is our mine which was no longer in operation. We are assisting on humanitarian grounds,” he added.

The state-owned ‘Herald’ newspaper said the other mine was privately owned.

District administrator Fortunate Muzulu told the paper at least 23 people were trapped underground and that the ‘chances of rescuing any survivors are very slim’.

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