85 KCM miners suffer smoke inhalation after truck caught fire underground


85 Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) miners at Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) in Chililabombwe were yesterday rushed to hospital after being gassed when a dumper truck caught fire underground.

The dumper truck caught fire whilst in the underground workshop which was stocked with a range of oils at shaft number three.

Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) general secretary Joseph Chewe and KCM spokesperson Joy Sata both in separate interviews confirmed the incident which happened in the early hours of yesterday.

Mr Chewe said a dumper truck caught fire but referred queries to KCM management for details.

Ms Sata who alongside other management officials quickly rushed to the scene of the accident said 85 miners were gassed after a dumper caught fire whilst in the workshop at shaft number three.

She said the affected miners where quickly evacuated and rushed to Konkola Mine Hospital where they underwent medical observation.

“Because the dumper truck caught fire whilst in a workshop which had oil,it made the miners inhale some fumes and so they had to be taken to hospital for medical observation,” she said.

Ms Sata, however, said the affected miners were all out of danger and that most of them had since been discharged after undergoing observation while the few others had remained for the usual 24 hours observation.

She said the gassed miners were both KCM and contracted employees adding that the incident did not affect underground operations as shaft number four and one remained operational.


    • .says, ‘rubber and paints’ are your new addition. It is precisely because of the vagueness of the reporting that I posed that question. The Internet will give me all sorts of combinations (mind you, oils are TREATED so they are not always PURE hydrocarbons). Further, if you read the last sentence it quotes the spokeswoman as having said the “gassed” miners. That connotation is almost implying deliberate intent. It is the reporting I am actually targeting not necessarily the safety issues and hydrocarbons… you have said it yourself by adding more substances to the equation…

  1. Self rescue packs are handy in such situations. They can give you at least 45 minutes of Oxygen and in this time, you can be able to move top the nearest refugee chamber (Assuming your mine has properly designed chambers

    • I worked for KCM at the said 3 shaft. It’s KCM outside, inside it is something. It’s run by commercial mgrs everything is all about cost savings. Self resuers are mentioned only when the mine rescue guys visit the mazabuka nickel mine. Pathetic company. I blame the IMF and the World Bank for having duped us into selling our mines, the conditions are pathetic at this company. I doubt even what role our government plays in governance of such issues. KCM kantemba.

  2. They are lying its not 85miners as they are putting it,all the miners who where on shift that night where gassed because the central workshop is along the exit or retreat route to the shaft station hence causing everyone to enhail the fumes. The machine that caught fire was a front end loader LHD415 NUMBER 04 which we work on. It caught fire around 04hrs and fire spread to the Dump Truck MT 436B number 08.each shift u have over 300 people wrkn

    • As usual, they will get away with it. What can you do when you have no government. KCM should know that they lost their social licence in Zambia a long time ago and they are sitting on a time bomb. Pple will revolt one day, not even their friend Zambian govt will save ’em.

  3. In the good old days of ZCCM….heads would have rolled by now…starting with the underground managers…nowadays…the safety &health issues of employees are not prioritised. These people are here to exploit !!!
    High Production levels is the buzz word…at the expense of human capital and surrounding communities !! Where is the social responsibility for these companies’ stakeholders ???? Why should they be allowed to carry on like this ??? Is this because this is Africa??? They definitely, do not behave is such a manner in developed countries !!! These people must be mad accounted for these risks that they have been putting our people through…in the name of mine investments !!!!! Enough is enough !!! On top that they gather up all their huge profits and ship it to their home…

  4. Apart from inadequate safety systems in the workshop, the ventilation system could be poorly designed. What Air Changes per Hour is the ventilation fan serving the workshop able to achieve? I am not trying to point fingers, but it all starts from there.

    • I can attest to you that Ventilation in the Centra Workshop is adequate with 6 air changes, U/G miners requires Self rescue packs as mentioned in note 3.
      3 Shaft with 5 upcast shafts handling a total volume of 1200m3/s @ 14.0kPa is more than enough.

    • Wayaya: Thanks for the info and quite to the point. I would expect the workshop to be under negative pressure allowing a draft of fresh/make up air at at 80% of extract rate. It appears as though this workshop is under positive pressure if you analyze…I could be wrong.

  5. Was really alarmed, my brother in law was involved in this accident and I was travelling out heard it enroute, he spent night in Chingola at Hospital for observation as Konkola Mine Hospital ran ot of space, am told they are fine, but still that was a serious sacre!!!

  6. This KCM is really killing the poor miners, they have all big positions for indians. The workshop manager truckles is Australian, chief engineer Indian at both 1 and 3 shafts, and they are killing the locals . Vice-president. Is south African and General manager is Indian, they can not care I agree with. 4 they are here just to make money, all comercial are Indians, where is the toothless MINES SAFETY DEPT?please help those chaps. I wish I was minister off mines, its not only tax evation you guy in goverment,. Go to the copperbelt chingola and chililabombwe.

  7. Zambia is a sad country. People had hope in PF to redeem them but alas looks like the status quo has continued. We just gave PF jobs to feed themselves and their family and friends whilst the rest of us will continue to wallow in poverty and live in squalor!

  8. it’s jst kcm frm outside..am currently working for kcm,nothing is there indians are ocupyin all da major posts,some departments like concetrators u can’t see no single black but only indians from artisans to managers and they made it policy neva to employee blacks at pemanent basis and they have done so since 2006.,

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