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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Four feared buried alive as mine collapses in northern Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- At least four miners were feared dead on Monday night and six others were rescued when a gold mine collapsed in Tanzania’s northern region of Mara, rescuers said.

Elia Caleb, leading a team of rescuers, said the collapse at Buhemba gold mine happened when the miners were inside digging illegally.

Two weeks ago, at least seven miners were killed in the same goldmine when a different pit collapsed.

"The Monday midnight incident occurred when the miners illegally entered in the mine intending to conduct their activities without valid permits," said Caleb.

Last week, the Tanzanian government suspended mining activities in the area after it was established that mining activities were being done illegally.

Caleb said: "I saw bodies of the four miners trapped inside the pit, and it was hard to pull them out of the pit because they were covered by rocks."

Caleb added that it was difficult to pull out the bodies because of inferior rescue equipment.

The rescuer said the six miners who were rescued were rushed to nearby Butiama district government hospital for treatment.

Paul Charles, another rescuer, echoed that it was almost impossible to pull out the bodies trapped underneath rocks, adding that the pit was also full of water.

Stephano Mseti, chairman of Small Miners Association in Mara region, said they were shocked by the grisly incident that occurred a week after another similar tragedy.

He said that they did not know exactly the number of people who entered into the mine as they used an illegal entrance to get into the mine since the formal entrances were closed down, pending official resumption of mining activities.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Eleven arrested in Tanzania’s timber smuggling sting

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Authorities in north-western Tanzania have arrested 11 persons for allegedly smuggling timber and charcoal in Lake Victoria, police said Monday.

The suspects were arrested in Tanzania’s north-western district of Sengerema for smuggling more than 3,000 pieces of timber and consignment of charcoal using three boats.

The consignment of timber and charcoal came from as far as the western region of Kigoma through Geita Region located on the western shores of Lake Victoria, the Africa’s largest freshwater lake.

Ahmed Msangi, Mwanza Regional Police Commander said that the untaxed consignment was later transported through boats to one of the islands in Lake Victoria waters, which is some kilometers to Mwanza city.

Msangi said that the consignment was transported through three boats-MV Safari 4, MV Safari 5, all owned by Sophia Zacharia of Chato District and MV Kilimanjaro of George Kimaro of Mwanza city.

"Those people were arrested on February 26, this year at around 4 pm local time in a small island of Kome mchangani located in Lake Victoria off Mwanza city," he said, noting the consignment was seized following a close collaboration between police, forestry officers and ordinary people.

"Police were tipped off by good Samaritans on the consignment and when made a closer follow-up, they managed to arrest all the suspects as well as seizing the entire cargo parked in a boat."

The regional police chief said that police were investigating the matter before taking the suspects to court.

             

 

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