The government has ordered an immediate halt to mining operations at Seseli mine in Chingola, following a devastating accident that has left over 30 illegal miners feared dead after being buried alive. Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe made the announcement after visiting the accident site in Chingola yesterday.
The closure comes as rescue and recovery efforts are underway to retrieve the bodies of the victims. Minister Kabuswe expressed deep concern over the incident and assured that the government would provide a comprehensive statement once the bodies of the victims are recovered.
The tragedy unfolded at Seseli mine, where illegal miners were reportedly trapped in the underground mine during heavy rains. The exact cause of the accident is yet to be determined, but initial reports suggest a collapse or landslide within the mine, trapping the miners underground.
Chingola District Commissioner Raphael Chimupi, visibly distressed, conveyed the devastation felt by the district. The incident has sent shockwaves through the local community, highlighting the dangers faced by illegal miners who often operate in unsafe and unregulated environments.
Rescue teams, comprising local authorities, mining officials, and emergency services, are working tirelessly to locate and recover the trapped miners. The challenging conditions within the mine pose a significant obstacle to the rescue efforts.
Illegal mining activities have been a persistent issue in various regions, driven by factors such as economic hardships and lack of alternative employment opportunities. The government has periodically conducted crackdowns on illegal mining, emphasizing the importance of adhering to safety regulations to prevent such tragedies.