Zambia steps up its search for trapped illegal miners

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Illegal miners in business
Illegal miners in business

The search for suspected illegal miners, who were trapped underground after an open pit collapse, has been intensified, a government official said on Friday.

Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe said rescue operations intensified with mining firms joining, especially in pumping out water.

Kabuswe, who visited the accident site, told reporters that no one had been found. The actual number of people trapped remained unknown.

“Whatever numbers we are getting there is not the correct position,” he said, adding that it was also difficult to confirm if any people died.

Earlier, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Jack Mwiimbu said during a parliamentary session that more than 30 suspected illegal miners were trapped after an open pit collapsed on them.

The accident happened on Thursday after heavy rains in the town, according to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

Some illegal miners who survived told the state broadcaster that the earth collapsed in three spots of the open pit mine as the miners were digging for minerals in various tunnels.

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