At least four gold miners died and four others injured after they were trapped inside a mine pit in Tanzania's southwestern region of Mbeya, police said Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Dhahiri Kidayashari, Mbeya Regional Police Commander, confirmed the incident, saying it happened in a remote area of Chunya District, nearly 900km from Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
According to the regional police chief, the area where the accident happened is famous for gold mining activities, whereby more than 50 miners forcefully invaded a pit owned by Vicent Minja, a resident of Dar es Salaam, after they were tipped on the presence of huge gold reserve in that particular hole.
"The miners were crowded deep underground and could not take any precaution measures...the pit collapsed in a short period, thanks to the rescue team as 11 miners were evacuated," Kidayashari said in a telephone interview.
Explaining, the official said the miners were randomly digging the pit without considering that the upper rock was not strong due to the ongoing rainfalls.
"We recovered the four bodies, there were almost 15 people in the pit as apart from the four who were wounded, three other miners escaped shortly after they were rescued," he noted.
Kimo Choga, a local leader in the area said efforts were made by local leaders to prevent the miners from invading the hole but they turned a deaf ear to the directives.
"We ordered them to vacate the area and wait for directives from their local leaders on how they can conduct the mining activities. Unfortunately, they invaded the area on Monday," said the councilor.
In January this year, 15 people including one Chinese national were trapped for four days in a collapsed RZ Goldmine in Geita District. They were all rescued and rushed to hospital.