SIMIYU: PRESIDENT Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan on Sunday expressed sadness and sorrow following the collapse of the mine that killed 22 people in Simiyu Region.
President Samia sent her condolence to all families which lost their beloved ones following the Ng’alita Mine’s collapse in the region.
“I have received with great shock the information about the deaths of people as a result of an accident which left them covered by soil at Ng’alita Mine, Bariadi District in Simiyu Region. I extend my condolences to friends, relatives who lost their beloved ones in the accident,” Dr Samia said through her X account (formerly Twitter).
She said all the departed were small scale miners at Ngalita Mine, who were earning their daily lives for their families and contributing to the national development.
She said the country’s security and defence machineries in collaboration with the regional leaders were in the process of recovering more bodies buried beneath the landslide.
Minerals Minister Antony Mavunde visited the scene where the tragedy occurred yesterday, urging all small scale miners across the country to adhere to the country’s mining laws while taking safety measures in their routine activities.
In a related development, Mr Mavunde commended the rescue committees for showcasing unwavering efforts of recovering the bodies of the deceased after the accident.
Earlier on the day, yesterday, Acting Commander of the Fire and Rescue Force, Mr Faustine Mtitu, stated that 22 people lost their lives and others were injured after being covered by soil in the mining area.
Mr Mtitu explained that the cause of the tragedy was due to the landslide caused by rain started flooding the area.
Mr Mtitu said the accident occurred at around 5:00 am on January 13 this year, noting that there were more than 20 miners in the mine pit.
“After two days of the rescue operation which involved the citizens, the police force, some experts from government institutions and machineries, all together succeeded in recovering all bodies which were covered by land. We have confirmed that there are no any other bodies left in the mine,” he said.
Elaborating, Mr Mtitu said some miners successfully rescued themselves shortly after the accident, despite rumours by some eye witnesses providing different information on the total number of the miners who were in the pit.
“Prior information showed that the miners were covered by land following collapse of soaked earth from a rock as the result of the ongoing rainfall,” he said.
He said on January 12, resident mines officer for Simiyu Region arrived at the mine and held talks with the small scale miners and agreed to suspend the mining activities at the area.
But some miners defied the agreement and continued mining during the nights.