NUMBER OF RETRIEVED MINERS TRAPPED AT SENSELI MINE RISE TO 7
THE number of miners retrieved from the Senseli mine who were trapped 10 days ago has increased to seven.
Rescue team searching for the trapped miners at the mine in Chingola has so far managed to retrieve seven people since the operation began nine days ago and among the retrieved people six are dead and one is alive.
Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo told the media last evening that the rescue team had yesterday managed to recover two more bodies.
Mr. Matambo said the team has spotted two other bodies in the tunnel and they are working to ensure they are retrieved.
He disclosed that the first body which was not identified, has been identified now by family members from Luanshya town.
“Am appealing to the people on Copperbelt and Zambia at large that if they have family members missing who deal in mining they can come and identify the two bodies,” Mr. Matambo said.
The Minister is still hopeful that the rescue team will be able to find some people alive.
“We will continue with our prayer and fasting, yesterday we went to Church and today we spent our day burying a 30 year old Silvester Kajimanga who was retrieved yesterday,” he said.
Mr. Matambo said the bodies were being buried because they where retrieved in a decomposed state and they cannot be kept longer.
He stated that the burial is being done in consultation with the family members and the government is catering for the funeral expenses.
Meanwhile, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe disclosed that the delay in retrieving all the trapped miners at once is because the tunnels are too narrow for the rescue operation to be done fast.
Mr. Kabuswe noted that the two bodies which were retrieved yesterday, where spotted on Friday at 16:00 hours but the tunnel is muddy and it is slowing the rescue mission.
The Minister pointed out that some areas in the tunnel are weak and the engineers have to study the spot to ensure it does not pose a danger to the rescue team.
“The situation is delicate and other miners have died next to each other. They have to ensure that they are removed carefully without leaving any part of their body in the mud.
The Minister revealed that on tunnel three where some miners have been trapped progress has been made but they have not reached the spot where the miners are believed to be.
“We have competent people, with all the tools but this is unconventional tunnel so the rescue team has to be careful when conducting their search to avoid another calamity,” he said.