Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
A MINER in Fort Rixon, Matabeleland South died after a mining tunnel at a river bank collapsed on him.
Ndumiso Nkala (24) of Plot 10, Mayfair area died in Insiza River near Lancaster Bridge.
When the river bank tunnel collapsed on the now deceased, he was in the company of a friend Dumezweni Ndlovu (35) of Plot 1, Mayfair.
Ndlovu survived as he went out of the tunnel to collect a torch he had left in his bag outside, some minutes before the tunnel collapsed last week.
Matabeleland South Provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm the sudden death of a miner who died when sand on a river bank collapsed on him. His father and other villagers retrieved him but he was already dead,” he said.
Chief Insp Ndebele urged members of the public to desist from mining in unsecured shafts.
“In the past we have held campaigns to sensitise miners on the need to ensure their mining operations are safe but accidents continue. Uncertified tunnels or shafts are not advisable to mine on. We urge miners to ensure their mines are inspected regularly,” he said.
A source said Ndlovu had gone out of the tunnel to collect a torch that he had left in his bag when the incident occurred.
“Ndlovu got out of the tunnel to collect a torch from his bag and upon his return, he discovered that the tunnel had collapsed trapping Nkala. Ndlovu rushed back to the village to advise elders.
“He returned with Nkala’s father, Mr Aleck Nkala, among other villagers who retrieved the already lifeless body,” said a source that preferred anonymity.
The matter was reported to the police who attended the scene and no foul play was suspected. — @winnie_masara