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Mining sinkhole swallows school in Zimbabwe, 17 children injured

mining sinkhole

Harare: A school in Zimbabwe collapsed after a sinkhole broke up underneath it due to mining. 17 primary school children aged 10 to 11 were wounded and are being treated in a hospital. One of the girls has been seriously injured.

The incident took place in Kwekwe, a city 200 km away from the capital city of Harare. It is close to two gold mines and school management has complained in the past about illegal mining activities underneath its grounds.

Kwekwe Central Constituency Member of Parliament Judith Tobaiwa wrote on Twitter: "At globe and Phoenix primary where a classroom has collapsed with students inside. And so far the number of students hospitalised is 13. It's not long ago I recommended immediate action after having visited the school and noticed the signs. It is important for authorities to listen." She urged that authorities take swift action to address the problem. She also shared images of the school.

She added that the miners are still blasting and the whole premises are shaking, reported AFP. It looks like the hole opened on the classroom floor and swallowed up desks, chairs, and school bags.

Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavima said authorities had asked the school to close and were trying to find an alternative placement for its students. "As the government, we are very shocked by this incident and disappointed that the miners didn't take the requisite measures to secure the area in order to prevent such an accident." He added that an investigation will be launched to find out why this happened and who may be responsible.

The gold mines in the region have attracted hundreds of thousands of small-scale, informal, illegal miners. A 2020 report said that 1.5 million people have turned to artisanal mining due to unemployment, poverty, and economic hardship.

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TAGS:mining sinkhole gold mines in Africa gold mines in Zimbabwe 
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