Zimbabwe: Seven workers die in a gold mine

7 miners were about to go into their well-deserved retirement when the cork bucket used to lift them to the surface fell down a 240-meter shaft after the wire rope broke. The accident occurred on May 14 at Bucks Mine near Gwanda, and the bodies of the deceased workers were recovered following salvage operations by the Ministry of Mines and Mine Development and other mine rescue teams.

According to reports, the mine owners gambled with the lives of the workers by using an 8-mm wire rope to haul the overburden to the surface. According to a government audit of mine health and safety, small and medium-sized mines are poorly supervised, resulting in most mines failing to meet health and safety standards. The mine inspection was also not carried out. In addition, mines did not have risk assessment policies and programs, and workers were not provided with personal protective equipment. Justice Chinhema, general secretary of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union, says: "We would like to express our sincere condolences to the families of the seven workers who died in the accident. Our union has repeatedly raised concerns that safety regulations are being ignored at artisanal and small-scale mines. This accident could have been avoided if safety standards had been followed. The union will support the families of the deceased workers in suing the mine owners for compensation, as the deaths resulted from negligence."