at least 40 miners trapped underground after a mine collapsed

Aid operations continue in Zimbabwe after a gold mine collapsed on Wednesday night in Bindura. At least 40 illegal miners have been caught and the chances of finding them alive are declining.

A crane truck and a local rescue team continue to work on the site of the Ran gold mine in Bindura, northeast of Zimbabwe, under the watchful eye of hundreds of residents, relatives and minor families.

The site collapsed Wednesday night and only six people have been rescued since the mine collapsed.

Miners caught underground exploited this disused site illegally. The collapse was due to the miners’ explosion of several pillars in the well, according to an aid official who was contacted by AFP.

The site is said to be partially flooded, which reinforces the pessimism about the chance of finding survivors. The situation is so critical that funeral directors, according to a journalist on site, have set up their tents near the accident site.

Collapse of this kind is common in Zimbabwe, a country rich in underground resources – especially gold, diamonds, platinum, coal, copper. Especially since mining represents one powerful economic windfall for Zimbabwe. For example, gold accounts for 60% of its exports and 10% of jobs. And due to mass unemployment, many workers continue to sink into officially closed places or enter illegal mines illegally.

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