On June 6 1972, a total of 472 men perished following an underground explosion at Hwange Colliery Company Limited.

The tragedy has since been known as the Kamandama mine disaster.

The perished miners were drawn from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Costa Rica.

Last year, the late coal miners’ surviving spouses complained of neglect, saying no financial assistance was being offered by the Company.

Meanwhile the company says annually its employees gather to commemorate the lives of the 427 dedicated and hard working miners who lost their lives in the Kamandama No 2 Underground shaft.

The miners perished while moving the economic wheels of the nation and region at large, says the company.

“The aftermath of the Kamandama mine shaft disaster saw Hwange Colliery Company play a critical role in the implementation and monitoring of safety and health policies in the mining sector for the benefit of the mining industry in Zimbabwe.

“Safety, Health and Environmental sustainability have since become a topical issue at national, regional and international level following this disaster,” notes the company.

As a result associations such as the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe; founded in 1973 whose mandate is to coordinate mine rescue activities in the country were formed.

The disaster was ranked as eighth biggest tragedy in the world in 2015 with the highest ranked being Honkeiko mine disaster in China, where 1 549 lives were lost on 26 April 1942 according to media reports.