By Helga CHIBWE
A miner at Kandabwe Mine in Sinazongwe District of Southern Province has died after a rock fell on him while on duty underground.
A miner whose age is unknown has been identified as Vinock Chipala, an employee of Collum Coal Mine.
In an interview with Diamond News Sinazongwe District Commisioner Nchimunya Siakole is disheartened by the ordeal because in a space of two months seven lives have been lost at the mine from frequent accidents that have left several workers crippled due to alleged unsafe mining at the site.
Mr Siakole says few months ago he ordered closure of the mine due to continuous loss of lives, but his message was met with resistance from some sections of society.
He laments that families whose relatives died while on duty have not been compensated.
The unhappy District Commissioner further discloses that despite having engaged management at Collum Coal Mine on its poor safety record lives have continued to be lost in avoidable circumstances.
He has also taken a swipe at officials at the Mine Safety Department at the Ministry of Mines of allegedly treating the company with ‘kids gloves’ each time they inspect the mineral rich mine and in their frequent visits they have failed to pay a courtesy on his office hence his suspicion of alleged dubious acts in the matter.
When contacted for a comment, Collum Coal Mine Acting Manager John Banda says the company awaits an assessment report from inspectors at the Mines Safety Department who are currently underground to ascertain the cause of the latest accident.