At least 100 illegal miners who survived the recent mine disaster that claimed 24 in Battlefields, Kadoma, said had it not been for the Uefa Champions League game between Manchester United and Paris St Germain more gold miners would have been victims.
The game which was aired on television at around 10 pm saved all football fanatics who opted to watch the match as heavy rains flooded Silvermoon and Cricket mines shafts while they were still enjoying the game.
Hilary Masuku (21) a manchester united supporter who lost four relatives in the disaster narrated how he cheated death on the fateful night.
“It started raining around 10 while we were watching the football match between Manchester United and Paris St Germain with some of the perished guys having already went underground.
“Our plan was to follow suit immediately after watching the game, luckily the match became our saviour as we later received reports that our colleagues had perished. We proceeded to the shafts only to find the shock of our lives to see eight of them flooded,” he said.
Masuku said the rains persisted up until 2 AM when they alerted fellow miners what was transpiring, but there was nothing they could do at that time.
“We waited for the sky to be clear in the morning and reported the matter to the police who then coordinated with other stakeholders,” he said.
A local villager, Bright Chiripo said the game was indeed a life saver since miners at the area usually go underground as much as 120.
“When l had that the shafts were flooded the number of victims that rang in my mind is more than 100 people that had perished. Only to hear that the accident occured while the majority were watching a football match,” he said.
Eight survived the tragic incident while 24 died after being trapped by floods for about five days.