Chinese Nationals Among Miners Trapped In Flooded Shaft In Zambia

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Two Chinese nationals were among the seven miners trapped in a flooded mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt province, near the Congo border.

The incident occurred at the Macrolink copper mine in Ndola city, which is under construction.

The trapped miners are employees of the Chinese-owned mine and rescue efforts are underway, with the Chinese embassy in Zambia coordinating specialists.

Macrolink has temporarily halted mine operations in response to the incident.

The incident comes barely a month after landslides buried dozens of other miners at Seseli Mine in Chingola, about 400 km (250 miles) north-west of the capital, Lusaka.

The fate of around 30 miners who went missing in the mudslide remains unknown after emergency services were unable to locate them.

Augustine Kasongo, a senior government official in Copperbelt province, said one person had so far been rescued from the mine that flooded on Monday, local media reported.

Rescue teams are trying to pump out water from the mine. Reports say the seven are trapped about 235m (771ft) below the surface.

The two Chinese trapped are the mine supervisor and a controller, while the five Zambians are said to be staff who were working at the shaft bottom of the mine, according to local media.

In a statement, the Chinese embassy said it was providing “dewatering equipment and other necessary assistance, to complement the efforts of the Zambian authorities”.

Zambia is among the world’s top copper producers. A significant number of its mines are run by foreigners.