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Two Hwange coke extractors die at coal dumpsite

By Judith Sibanda

Two men from Empumalanga surburb in Hwange died after a heap of coal rubble reportedly collapsed on them while they were scavenging for coke at a dumpsite belonging to Hwange Colliery Company.

While police in Matabeleland North province could not be reached for a comment, Greater Whange Residents Association chairperson Fidelis Chima confirmed the tragic event.

“The incident happened on Monday at one of the dumpsites belonging to Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) after the pit collapsed on them,” Chima said. 

He said the two victims, who are believed to be in their 20s were digging the coke for resale. 

“They were collecting the coke to sale it to brick moulders, but as they were doing so, the rubble collapsed on them trapping them to death,” said Chima.

“We understand that one of the deceased had just finished his college studies, but for now we cannot share their personal details as the police are yet to issue a statement.” 

In May, another Madumabisa Village woman died after a pit that she was digging in collapsed on her. 

Another woman from the same village also died in February last year when a similar tragedy befell her. 

Chima said the high incidencies of deaths at the dumpsites were largely caused by economic hardships and poverty. 

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