Zimbabwe: Suspected Gold Panner Suffocates in Disused Mine

Zimbabwe: Suspected Gold Panner Suffocates in Disused Mine

A 46-YEAR-OLD suspected panner from Esigodini died of suffocation while burning gold ore in a disused mine last week.

The incident occurred at Highwood Mine in Sibombvu near Umzingwane River on Thursday evening.

Police identified the panner as Solomon Ndlovu from Chief Gweba’s area.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Tafanana Dzirutwe said on the fateful day, Ndlovu left home for the mine in the company of three other people.

“Near the mine they collected some firewood and hid it near the mine shaft and went home. Later in the day, they returned and Ndlovu entered the disused mine.

“The other three men then tied the firewood with a rope and dropped it down the shaft,” said Insp Dzirutwe. Ndlovu then lit the firewood to burn and soften the gold ore in the tunnel.

However, he was overcome by the toxic fumes and died in the pit.

His body was found the following morning by his colleagues who then alerted police.

The body was taken to Esigodini District Hospital mortuary for a post-mortem.

Copyright © 2006 The Herald. All rights reserved.

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