Three die in mine accident in Chongwe

Three people have died  at Kasisi Copper Mine in Chongwe district after a rock fell on them as they were working at 40 meters underground of the mine.

Mine Manager Chilufya Mwale who confirmed the death of the three to ZANIS today stated that the accident occurred this morning around 08:20 hours as the workers were preparing to start the day.

ZANIS reports that Mr Chilufya identified the three as a Mr Shi a Chinese national aged 40, Robert Awele aged 22 and Bupe Malambo aged 21 years.

He stated that two others identified as Frank Tokolwa and John Kasapato sustained injuries and have been taken to Chelstone Clinic where they are receiving treatment.

Mr Chilufya added that the bodies of the deceased have since been deposited in Levy Mwanawasa Hospital Mortuary.

He revealed that works at the mine have since been temporarily suspended to pave way for further investigations. 

One of the workers who witnessed the accident Ginivias Shikombwe revealed that all the workers were working in tunnels in groups of four when they were informed about the accident. 

Mr Shikombwe said they rushed to the scene where they started retrieving the bodies starting with the Chinese national who was their supervisor.

“We were working in our tunnels when we heard people shouting that there is an accident,” he said.

Chongwe Mayor Christopher Habeenzu described the incident as unfortunate and called for calm among workers at the mine.

Mr Habeenzu advised everyone to wait for technical experts to carry out an assessment to confirm what caused the rock to fall.

He implored the mining company to enhance safety measures at the mine to prevent any accidents in future.

“We hope that you will be able to enhance safety measures at this mine to protect the lives of workers and prevent such occurrences in future,” Mr Habeenzu said.

Mr Habeenzu further urged management at the mine to ensure that they provide assistance to the families of the deceased and the workers who have been injured.