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Turk Mine shaft collapse kills 1, injures 3

Nokusa Masuku/Lethokuhle Moyo Chronicle Reporters ONE person died and three others are battling for their lives at Inyathi Mission Hospital...

Nokusa Masuku/Lethokuhle Moyo Chronicle Reporters
ONE person died and three others are battling for their lives at Inyathi Mission Hospital after a shaft collapsed at Turk Mine trapping miners underground for more than three hours yesterday.

The horrific incident happened around 3AM after a block at the mine shaft collapsed.

Police officers retrieved Phathisani Ngwenya’s body together with the injured workers at around 7AM yesterday.

Security guards at the mine blocked a Chronicle news crew from entering the mine to interview the mine’s management.

A mine worker who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed that a foreman at the mine refused to work, saying the mine was no longer safe to operate.
Casmyn workers remove the body of the mine worker from a hearse to Inyathi Mission Hospital’s mortuary yesterday (top) and Turk Mine in Bubi district, Matabeleland North
He claimed the foreman was replaced with another inexperienced one, hours before the tragedy.

“We’re still traumatised that our colleague died in such a horrific manner. It makes us so nervous to go and work because you never know what will happen next,” said the worker.

Another worker who also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals said even though they were aware that there were risks and challenges in working at the mine, they had no choice because most of them are breadwinners.

“One can’t complain about the working conditions because you will be risking losing your job. We’re therefore forced to work under dangerous conditions because we don’t have a choice,” said the worker.

Other former employees said it wasn’t the first time that employees have been injured at Turk Mine.

“Once a worker is injured the company blames the workers for their injuries, they don’t acknowledge that they are at fault,” said a former worker.

Matabeleland North Provincial police spokesperson Siphiwe Makonese said she was yet to receive a report from Inyathi police station. Chronicles
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