Zambian officials have said they have been unable to locate dozens of illegal miners believed to be trapped after a mudslide at an open cast copper mine on Friday.
The accident in Zambia’s northern Copperbelt province occurred after heavy rains.
Rescue teams have been pumping water from the underground pits at the Sesili mine in Chingola but have not made contact with the miners.
President Hakainde Hichilema, who arrived back on Sunday from the COP28 conference in Dubai, said he was saddened by the “heartbreaking situation”
He sent his thoughts and prayers to affected families, adding that government efforts were being directed towards the rescue efforts.
The vice-president, Mutale Nalumango, said the incident at the Sesili mine was a “disaster”.
Rescue efforts are continuing. Illegal mining is common in Zambia, one of the world’s largest copper producers.