Ran Mine disaster: Government speaks on rescue operation

By Wellington Makonese

Government and its partners are working round the clock in the rescue operation to save illegal miners trapped at Ran Mine in Bindura this Wednesday.

A dark cloud hovers over the town of Bindura after events which saw over a dozen illegal miners being trapped at Ran Mine.

Among the survivors is James Gomo who narrated how he survived the horror incident

“What happened is when we took out two bags, we saw a large rock falling and failed to get back in we started running away, those who were at the entrance managed to escape. This was as a result of a blast which was carried out in another shaft.”

Several government officials have since visited the site to assess the gravity of the situation, with local mining companies chipping in with cranes and pumps to de-water the tunnel.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Winston Chitando said they are taking a phased approach in carrying out the rescue and recovery efforts to avoid aggravating the situation.

“We have plus or minus 10 miners in the collapsed shaft, the process now is to de-water and once we de-water we will be able to assess how we can carry out the rescue, the unfortunate thing is that the surface is still giving in.”

Ran Mine Consultant Mr John Murehwa is optimistic the operation will be successful with due diligence.
“We are going to de-water but given the circumstances, we hope to see that after de-watering experts get in to assess if the surface is safe without endangering those outside.”

With speculation rife over the actual number of people who might have been trapped, Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Monica Mavhunga is hoping that other survivors will assist with key information.

“The other eyewitnesses are nowhere to be found and they would have helped in ascertaining the number of people that were trapped and feel for each other.”

The scores of people gathered here are hoping that the joint rescue operation between government and mining companies will be successful in retrieving the trapped miners.

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