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1000 miners stuck underground at Sibanye mine: Reported by South African union

05 February, 2018, 06:36 | Author: John Swanson
  • Mike Hutchings  Reuters

Livhuwani Mammburu, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa [VIDEO], told News24 that the miners were receiving medical check-ups and that no serious injuries were sustained.

Nearly 1,400 miners were initially trapped when a violent storm caused an electric power outage, shutting down the mine's elevator. Unions are now demanding answers. The area has power generators but they couldn't restore power after it went down.

They also called for the emergency services to double their efforts to rescue the trapped miners. "There's no real danger at the moment, obviously, we'd like to rescue them as soon as possible", Mr Wellsted added.

Sibanye-Stillwater says 336 miners have been freed, but it is unclear how many men remain underground.

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South African Chamber of Mines spokesperson Charmane Russell said the incident was safely and competently dealt with.

"We are concerned and nobody said anything to our families". He said that 955 workers had been rescued, Reuters reported.

"The infrastructure here was not audited", said Malefane. "If the Beatrix mine was not negligent, they would have had the contingency plan in place, which could have enabled them to take people from underground, to surface in time. We do not want to speculate in terms of what happened".

Meanwhile several Free State MEC's have indicated that they will accompany Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane on a visit to the mine today.

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"The safety, health and well-being of employees are integral components of the daily operations of mining operations with the industry continually working to reduce risks in the workplace", the Chamber said.

Unions have long accused mining companies of poor wages and skimping on health and safety standards.

Last August, five mineworkers died after sections of a gold mine collapsed outside Johannesburg.

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