Tragedy in South Africa as hundreds of Miners trapped after severe storm
London, Jan. 1, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Enca, a South African online news platform is reporting that hundreds of miners are believed to be trapped underground at Sibyane Gold’s Beatrix Mine in the Free State, South Africa
It is believed that 950 miners were trapped underground on Wednesday night after a storm affected electricity supply. Sixty four have since been rescued.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says it is extremely concerned about the trapped workers.
In a statement, the union calls on Sibanye-Stillwater to mobilise all resources to rescue the workers as soon as possible. The union also questions the lack of contingency plans in place to deal with these types of incidents.
Amcu says it views the incident “as extreme” due to the sheer number of workers involved.
“It is common cause that lives might already be threatened due to dehydration and blood sugar issues because of a lack of nutrition. It is also quite common for adults to be on chronic medication and it is highly probable that there are some workers who are trapped without access to their medicine,” Amcu added.
“This incident also raises serious concern regarding the lacking emergency continency plans at the mine for alternative and backup power generation. Amcu received reports that the mine is now attempting to borrow a generator from Harmony. Surely, this cannot be acceptable and best practice. Amcu insists that the mine should have its own backup-up arrangements.”