Monday, October 19, 2020

Inside the BCL death trap: How four miners lost their lives

While information on what transpired the night four miners lost their lives at BCL mine in Selibe Phikwe is not yet clear, a picture of possible negligence is beginning to emerge.

At the moment BCL management is reluctant to mention what might have caused the accident saying their investigations are still at preliminary stage.

However The Telegraph investigations revealed that the accident happened at 2105 hours Sunday night.

Information gathered indicates that the General Mine Transport commonly known as GMT tripped and broke the rope which is attached to it.

The GMT then started loosely running down the shaft until it reached rock bottom where it smashed killing four miners and injuring six.

Available information suggests that there were ten miners on the GMT. 

Rescue team only managed to help the injured miners at 0100 hours.

It is also alleged that there is an entry in the log book which suggested that the GMT was running with its brakes on. This entry is said to have been made by a night shift driver.

Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Minister Kitso Mokaila indicated that he learnt about the accident just after 9 pm on Sunday.

In his statement Mokaila also confirms that there were 10 employees who were on their regular night shift at the South East Extension. 

Of the ten, four fatalities have been confirmed while six (6) are critical.

“I would further like to assure the nation that my Ministry has initiated investigations on the accident to get to the root cause and will contract an independent safety auditor to look into the safety at BCL,” said Mokaila in his statement. 

In February last year an explosion at BCL mining and smelting occurred and caused death of two people that were working at one of the shafts while four others were treated for minor injuries at the BCL Mine Hospital and discharged.

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