Over 1,000 gold miners in South Africa stuck underground
JOHANNESBURG — Over 1,000 miners were stuck underground at a gold mine in South Africa after a storm knocked out power, the company which runs the mine said Thursday.
The miners, trapped in company Sibanye-Stillwater’s Beatrix gold mine were not in danger, a spokesman said.
Spokesman James Wellsted said the miners were safe and receiving food and water. Power was being restored to the mine but there was not yet enough to bring the miners to the surface.
The National Union of Mineworkers said 65 mineworkers had been rescued but more than 1,000 remained underground.
“There is no electricity there, so they are using a generator to power the cage to take workers to the surface,” NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu told Reuters.
“The problem is they are rescuing one mineworker at a time. It is very slow. It is worrying,” he said. ‘Some of our members have chronic conditions and they don’t have medication down there.”
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said in a statement on Twitter that it viewed the incident “as extreme due to the sheer number of workers involved.”
“This incident also raises serious concern regarding the lacking emergency contingency plans at the mine for alternative and back-up power generation,” the statement added.