FOUR miners are feared dead at Mopani Copper Mines in Kitwe after an underground collapse.
The accident happened early yesterday at SOB, 3240 metre level.
Highly-placed sources identified the victims as Emmanuel Kyongola, Honest Mushota, Arnold Mambwe, all machine operators, and Abel Munthali, a workman.
“What happened is that they were drilling and unfortunately, the underground earth collapsed, the wall caved in. They are still trapped. In mining, we can’t say they are dead, the only thing we can say now is that they are feared dead until the rescue team finishes its work,” a source said.
And in a brief statement, Mopani Copper Mines head of public relations Cephas Sinyangwe stated that the mine had activated an emergency response plan and mobilised trained Rescue and Emergency Response teams to respond to the incident.
“We have been notified and we are working closely with the relevant authorities. The cause of the incident will be investigated as soon as it is practically possible. Right now, our priority is to ensure that we safeguard the employees and stabilise the area. The families of the operators have been informed and are being offered Mopani’s full support. Further information will be made available as appropriate,” said Sinyangwe.
The Mineworkers Union of Zambia and the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers were also working closely with those involved in rescue operations and promised to issue comprehensive statements later.