By BENNIE MUNDANDO
A FORENSIC audit into the cause of the accident that claimed three lives at Mopani Copper Mine last week is underway as mine experts, working with fire and equipment experts brought by KCM have barricaded the accident scene to pave way for an investigation.
Speaking after visiting the mine and the houses of mourning yesterday, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa told the Daily Nation that government placed the safety of workers especially on the mines high on the agenda and that it will not dwell in the “blame game” after the accident but find a lasting solution to prevent such reoccurrences .
“The death of three workers arising from the fumes is regrettable. When you lose life, it is not time for blame game but time to take responsibility on the part of Mopani and to evaluate what happened.
“The area where the accident took place has been barricaded and operations have been suspended to allow for a forensic audit by mine experts who are working with Mopani and I am delighted to note that Mopani has brought in some fire and equipment experts,” Mr. Musukwa said.
He appealed to mining companies to invest in safe rescue chambers which could provide safety to workers for up to five hours even after such an accident.
“As government, we put high premium on safety on mining houses, Mopani inclusive.
Established mining houses such as Mopani must be able to save lives in case of an accident where you have fumes discharged after fire erupts, like the case was in this accident. Mopani has a few chambers but they must invest in safe rescue chambers.
On Thursday last week, Mopani Copper Mines suspended operations at its Mindola Shaft in Kitwe after three miners died from underground fire.
Three miners died while another one is battling of his life in hospital after a loader caught fire under-ground sending panic in the workforce.