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Zambia Mine

Seven miners were confirmed deceased, while over 20 others were missing and presumed dead following heavy rainfall-triggered landslides that trapped them inside unauthorized tunnels they were illegally digging at a copper mine in Zambia. This information was shared by the police and local authorities on Saturday.

According to the police, no bodies had been recovered as of yet after the landslides occurred late on Thursday night. It was believed that many of the victims had drowned.

The miners were extracting copper ore at the Seseli open-pit mine located in the city of Chingola, situated around 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital, Lusaka, as stated by the police. The landslides took place between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday, as confirmed by the police.

While the police provided the names or partial names of the seven confirmed victims, they stated that all miners in the tunnels were suspected to have lost their lives. However, the exact number of trapped miners in the tunnels was unknown, as neither the police nor government officials could provide a precise figure. The Chingola District Commissioner, Raphael Chumupi, informed The Associated Press that there were at least 36 miners involved.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema expressed his sorrow regarding the tragic incident at an illegal mining site in Chingola, offering prayers for the deceased and their families through a post on his official Facebook page. He also expressed gratitude towards the rescuers and volunteers who were diligently working to reach those still trapped.

The victims were buried at multiple locations, as confirmed by the police. A mine rescue team, along with emergency services, was present at the mining site.

Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga mentioned that the bodies had not yet been recovered, as efforts were underway to retrieve them.

Chumupi stated that the miners were engaged in illegal mining activities without the knowledge of the mine owners, and they were trapped in three separate tunnels.

Illegal artisanal mining is prevalent in Chingola, as the open pits are surrounded by extensive waste dumps consisting of excavated rocks and earth.

Zambia, a Southern African nation with a population of 20 million, is one of the top ten copper producers globally.

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