Two villagers died on Monday while trying to rescue a goat that had fallen into a 23-meter deep well in Dundubala village in Insuza.
Themba Nyathi (48), of Dundubala and Mabutho Sibanda (36), of Makhondo in Nyamandlovu, drowned in the well at around 11 AM and 3 PM, respectively.
Nyathi was a caretaker at Lucky Khumalo’s homestead, where the tragic incident took place.
Villagers believe the duo suffocated because of low oxygen possibly due to toxic gasses in the well, before the eventual drowning.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson in Matabeleland North Inspector Gloria Banda said:
Nyathi arrived home from the fields and found a piece of zinc sheet that was used to cover the well missing. He suspected that there might be a goat that fell inside the well.
With the help of his son, they prepared some ropes and hooks to fish out the zinc and the goat.
During the process, two other villagers arrived and Nyathi was lowered down the well using the rope.
Inspector Banda said moments later, Nyathi was heard breathing with difficulties and other villagers were summoned.
A villager, Mabutho Sibanda, who said he had the experience of working in local gold mines, volunteered to get into the well. Added Banda:
Sibanda was also lowered down with a chain. Whilst inside the well, he became free of the chain and there was no communication from him.
Police officers were called to attend the scene and they advised the villagers to return home and leave the neighbourhood watch to guard the scene until the next morning.
The police sub-aqua unit was called from Bulawayo and managed to retrieve the bodies of the two men and the carcass of the goat from the well at 9 AM on Tuesday.