Mirerani — Three small-scale miners have died of suffocation inside a tanzanite mine at Mirerani in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region.
The deceased had secretly entered the mine on Block D, according to the owner of the mine, Mr Bahati Shujaa.
Mr Shujaa, a resident of on Endiamtu Ward at Mirerani, said yesterday that the deceased were not working with his firm and that they had covertly made it into the quarry. This brings to six the number of miners who died at Mirerani in two weeks.
In mid this month, three miners were trapped inside the JW mine after it caved in nd they soon died. The mine is owned by TanzaniteOne of Mirerani.
The firm's acting director Modest Apolinary distanced himself from claims that the three were his employees, saying they were illegal miners.
Manyara Regional Police Commander Francis Massawe said yesterday the incident occurred on Sunday at around 1.30pm.
He named the deceased as Majongo Shigolilo, 34, a resident of Mirerani; Abdala Juma ,26, from Endiamtu Ward and Daniel Isack ,27, of Songambele Village.
According to the mine security guard, Mr Hassan Salim, the miners were engaged to extract tanzanite from the mine hundreds of feet below the ground level when poisonous gas filled there.
"All three miners died due to suffocation from a poisonous gas before any of the rescue teams could make their way inside," he said.
He said the cause of death was an accumulation of carbon dioxide gas inside the mine.