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Sinkhole swallows classroom, injuring 17 children

Photos shared on social media show desks, benches and school bags in the hole (Photo: Twitter)

In Zimbabwe, at least 17 schoolchildren were injured when a huge sinkhole, believed to be mining, engulfed a classroom.

One child was reportedly seriously injured and another was treated in hospital with minor abrasions.

Local authorities have blamed uncontrolled mining for the incident at the Grove and City School in the central city of Kwekwe.

There are two gold mines nearby, and school administrators have reportedly filed complaints in the past about illegal mining under the property.

Photos shared on social media show a sinkhole filled with desks, benches and school bags.

Local lawmaker Judith Tobaiwa, who visited the school after the attack, told AFP that 17 students aged 10 to 11 were injured, one seriously.

Speaking about miners, she said:

Local MP Judith Tobaiwa pointing at a sinkhole and an elementary school (Photo: @JudithTobaiwa2/Twitter)
People gathered at the school after the incident (Photo: @JudithTobaiwa2/Twitter)

Posting a photo of the scene on Twitter, she wrote: It’s important for authorities 2 to listen.

State Minister Larry Mabima said authorities have ordered schools to close and are trying to find alternative placements for students.

“As a government, we are very shocked by this incident and disappointed that the miners did not take the necessary steps to protect the area to prevent such accidents.

He added that an investigation had been launched to find out why it happened and who was responsible.

The landlocked southern African country has solid gold reserves, with gold accounting for a third of all exports last May, according to

Zimbabwe has hundreds of thousands of small, informal miners, many of whom operate illegally.

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