In a devastating turn of events, rescue operations are underway in Chingola on the Copperbelt, where illegal miners find themselves trapped following the collapse of an open pit mine. The incident has prompted urgent efforts by a collaborative rescue team comprising individuals from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and the Mines Safety Department.
A ZNBC news crew, on-site yesterday, reported that the rescue team is diligently pumping water from underground pits where the miners are believed to be trapped. Unfortunately, as of 09:30 hours, no miners had been successfully retrieved, leaving an atmosphere of concern and urgency.
Chingola District Commissioner Raphael Chimupi provided an update, stating that the rescue efforts are ongoing, and the situation remains critical.
The incident has garnered the attention of Chingola residents, who are calling on the government to expedite the rescue operations. Their collective concern reflects the gravity of the situation and the impact it has on the community.
In response to the tragedy, President Hakainde Hichilema expressed his condolences to the families and loved ones affected by the accident. The President, in a statement, said, “We are saddened to hear about the tragic accident at a makeshift mine site in Chingola that has claimed many lives. Our prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who died in the accident.”
President Hichilema also extended gratitude to the rescuers and volunteers who are working tirelessly to reach those still trapped in the mine. He acknowledged their bravery and dedication in the face of a challenging rescue mission.
“This incident reinforces our government’s commitment to implementing strict mining safety policies to ensure the well-being of citizens,” President Hichilema emphasized.
The tragic event serves as a somber reminder of the risks associated with illegal mining activities and underscores the importance of enforcing stringent safety measures.