In Zimbabwe, the rescue of eight illegal miners on Saturday renewed hope for about 70 people who were earlier this week trapped in flooded shafts, in accident that the government has declared a disaster.

The accident in Battlefields, 175 kilometers west of Harare, happened on Tuesday and has shone a light on the dangers facing illegal gold miners, who last year contributed a large part of Zimbabwe’s record 33 tonne bullion output.

The Government Deputy Chief Mining Engineer Tapererwa Paswavaviri at the accident scene said so far they have managed to bring out eight miners alive and they are exploring ways of accessing more people still trapped. Local Government Minister July Moyo said in a statement on Friday the government had declared the incident a disaster and that up to 70 people could have been trapped in the pits