BCL, the Botswana based copper/ nickel miner has reported four fatalities and other critically injured miners following an accident at one of the company’s shaft.
The troubled miner has of late being having safety concerns with Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) critical of the current mine management’s safety record.
The company said the incident occurred at one of its mines, South East Extension on Sunday, May 29th, 2016, at 21h05.
“This incident involved ten (10) employees and regrettably four (4) of them passed on, while six (6) survived with two (2) of them very critical and have been referred for medical attention at Nyangagwe Referral Hospital in Francistown. Names of the deceased are still withheld until the next of kin are informed,” BCL said.
According to the company, the cause of the incident is not yet known, but it said “our preliminary internal observations indicate that a rope of a General Man Transport (GMT)/cage snapped while transporting workers at end of shift.”
“Investigations internally and by the Inspector of Mines to establish the cause of the accident are underway and operations at this shaft have been suspended indefinitely,” the company said.
“Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences goes out to the bereaved families, colleagues and friends of our departed friends and the entire team at BCL Limited. We also wish our injured colleagues a speedy recovery.”
Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila said government has initiated investigations.
“…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”.
MINISTER MOKAILA STATEMENT ABOUT BCL MINE ACCIDENT
It is with great sadness that last night just after 9pm, I was informed of a fatal accident involving personnel transport underground at the BCL mine carrying ten (10) employees who were on their regular night shift at the South East Extension. Of the ten, four (4) 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
May the Souls of the departed Rest in Peace and we also wish those hospitalized a speedy recovery. May I further request that we afford the families of the affected employees the support and privacy during this difficult time.
Hon O.K Mokaila
Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources