At least nine illegal miners were killed in Zimbabwe in explosions at a gold mine in Mazowe, north of the capital Harare, police said on Tuesday.
“We confirm that eight people died Sunday night at the Jumbo mine in Mazowe and another later in another explosion underground,” police spokesman Paul Nyathi told AFP .
“Their bodies have been recovered and the investigation is under way to determine how they entered the mine whose entrance was guarded,” he continued.
“One person has fractures and has been hospitalized. We are told there could be more wounded, “said the policeman.
The company owning the mine, Metallon Corporation, confirmed the tragedy, noting that none of its employees were among the victims.
“Illegal miners have entered the mine and carried out illegal explosions,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, nine people were killed.”
Zimbabwe is home to many minerals in its subsoil, including platinum, diamonds, gold, coal and copper.
Lacking employment in this southern African country where unemployment is around 90%, many men survive by working in abandoned mines or illegally entering still-exploited mines.
In February, at least 24 illegal miners were killed in abandoned wells flooded by storms in central Zimbabwe.