955 Miners still trapped underground in Welkom S/Africa
Welkom, Feb. 1, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Sibanye Gold mine in Welkom has confirmed that 955 miners, trapped following an electric cable outage after a storm on Wednesday night, have still not been freed and said it was working round the clock to restore power.
“They have been trapped for quite some time now and [are] quite fatigued, but they are in an area that is ventilated,” mine spokesperson James Wellstad said.
He added that the miners also had access to food and water.
Wellstad said no injuries have been reported there was no “danger at the moment”.
“We are in constant contact with them and thus far no one [is] in distress,” he said.
Wellstad added that, during the course of Thursday, they managed to rescue 272 miners from shaft four and 64 from shaft one. This excludes the 955 miners that are still underground.
“These miners were rescued from two different shafts earlier today. The 955 miners are still trapped at shaft three where we are trying to restore power,” he said.
Earlier, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa said the mine’s management should “mobilise all resources” to rescue the workers as soon as possible.
“Mining is very unsafe, and mineworkers risk life and limb daily to put bread on the table for their families. AMCU calls on Sibanye-Stillwater management to step up its rescue efforts so that these workers can be brought back to the surface as soon as possible,” Mathunjwa said.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is expected to visit the mine on Friday