Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana confirmed that rescuers have retrieved a body from the rubble of a mine shaft in Bindura where at least 30 illegal gold miners are believed to be trapped underground.
The mine shaft that belongs to Ran Mine collapsed last week on Wednesday after Bindura received heavy rains the previous day, witnesses said a blast within the mine might have triggered the collapse.
The number of miners trapped inside is not yet known though official estimates put the figure somewhere between 20 and 40. Rescuers and volunteers managed to retrieve six miners within hours of the collapse.
Heavy rains have since flooded the mine making it difficult to carry out the rescue operation safely.
A representative of Ran Mine, Mr. John Murehwa, last week said rescue efforts can only be carried out after the mine has been de-watered.
We are going to de-water but given the circumstances, we hope to see that after de-watering experts get in to assess if the surface is safe without endangering those outside
However, on Monday rescuers and volunteers managed to retrieve one body from the flooded shaft after spending days pumping out water.
“One male body …has been retrieved this afternoon from the tunnel,” tweeted Mr. Mangwana.
Ran Mine closed the site 10 years ago and an illegal gold miner known locally as Makorokoza invaded the area to extract leftover gold.