More than 1,000 miners trapped underground in gold mine in South Africa as huge rescue operation is launched – by David Burke (The Mirror – February 1, 2018)

More than 1,000 miners have been trapped underground in South Africa following a storm. Reports say a powercut left hundreds of workers stuck at Sibyane Gold’s Beatrix Mine in the central Free State.

They became trapped on Wednesday night, prompting union bosses to raise concerns about safety standards. The National Union of Mineworkers said 65 mineworkers had been rescued but more than 1,000 remain 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 said. “The problem is they are rescuing one mineworker at a time. It is very slow. It is worrying.

“Some of our members have chronic conditions and they don’t have medication down there.” South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (ACMU) has warned that lives are at risk, and called on mine bosses to do everything possible to bring the workers to safety.

In a statement the ACMU said: “It is common cause that lives might already be threatened due to dehydration and blood sugar issues because of lacking nutrition.”

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