Tanzania:Suspends mining after trapped workers rescued

Tanzania’s government has suspended mining at a site in Geita town in the north-western region, where 15 artisan miners were rescued yesterday after being trapped underground for three days, to assess the safety of mines.

Fourteen Tanzanians and one Chinese were rescued from the Chinese-owned gold mine, called RZ Gold mine.

Reporter Halima Nyanza, who witnessed the rescue mission yesterday, said the mood at the scene was both emotional and jubilant as relatives watched the miners being brought up.

The trapped miners looked weak and in need of emergencey treatment. They were quickly taken to a nearby health centre

An investigation to determine what what caused the accident is under way but this is not an isolated incident.

In November , Tanzania hailed the “miraculous” rescue of five miners who were trapped underground for more than 40 days.

The majority of the miners are from surrounding villages and sometimes include children.

If they find gold, they sell it to a dealer – and live off the money for a few weeks before going back underground.

There are many small gold mines in western Tanzania. Most of them are largely unregulated, with little or no health and safety considerations.

By Africafrique and agencies

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