Six foreigners and two Zimbabweans died after an explosion at SAS Mine, Lowdale, in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central on Thursday.
According to a police report, on the 7th of October 202, Victor Mufakose aged 29, and the now deceased namely Kudakwashe Muzanenhamo aged 38 were instructed by one of the deceased Chinise nationals to assist in making fire at the Nickel furnace.
After finishing making fire, they were given further instructions to help open the furnace which is sealed by a metal sheet and concrete to contain pressure.
During the process, Mufakose used a jack hammer to remove the concrete blocking the furnace entrance. When they were about to ignite some cutting torch that uses gas bottles Mufakose received a telephone call from his wife. He excused himself and walked a few metres away. Whilst he was still on the telephone he heard a loud explosion and debris flying all over the place and he ran away in fear. After a while, he returned back and saw bodies and body parts scattered all over the place.
They rushed back to the scene and noticed that one of the Chinese nationals Lyu Guangzhi was still alive but critically injured and was taken to Parirenyatwa group of hospitals where he is being treated. The bodies were ferried to Parirenyatwa Hospital awaiting postmortem.
It was also established that on the 6th of October 2021, another Oxygen Cylinder gas bottle exploded and killed Amon Munashe aged 21, who works at the mine as an Assistant wielder.
Stewart Nkango aged 27, Bernard Dzangwe aged 27, and Terrence Magwaza also aged 23, who sustained injuries and bruises were taken to Concession hospital where they were treated and discharged.
The scene was attended by Ministry of Mines and the police. Inspector of Mines Bindura, Themba Hweju, ordered the mine to stop all operations pending investigations. The company decided to ignore the directive resulting in the subsequent fatal mining accident.
” The ZRP is investigating the circumstances in which six foreign nationals as well as a Zimbabwean died when some gas cylinders exploded at SAS mine, Lowdale on 07/10/21. More details to follow. ” The police confirmed.