Seven miners died Monday night at Golden Valley Mine in Kadoma after a carriage carrying 19 employees plunged down the mine shaft.
“They were about to go to work when the accident happened,” said Sam Phiri, the regional officer for the Mine Workers Union.
“The cage in which they were travelling in collapsed and killed the seven and 12 of the 19 survived the accident.”
The injured were taken to various hospitals in and outside Kadoma.
The accident comes less than a week after deputy President Joice Mujuru led commemorations at the Hwange Colliery Company marking 42 years since the Kamandama mine disaster where over 400 miners lost their lives after an explosion.
Phiri says the accident could have been avoided.
“From the look of things, it seems like human error. And the safety devices which were supposed to be in place were not in place.”
Efforts to get a comment from management were fruitless. Police confirmed the accident. Officers from Kadoma met with management and the regional mines engineer following the accident.
Meanwhile, the Mine Workers Union says the company is not doing enough to assist families of the deceased.
“First the company sent the bodies to a local mortuary when they could have taken them to a funeral parlor where conditions are better,” said Phiri.
“And then now the company has given the families very little in terms of money or groceries to use during this very difficult time. I am not impressed by the company’s actions following the accident.”
The Golden Valley Mine is owned by the late British miner John Mack. Trustees are now running the mine.