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South African gold miners die in earthquake

04 May 2018

Four miners were killed and three others reported missing underground after an earthquake hit the Masakhane gold mine west of Johannesburg, the Sibanye-Stillwater company said on May 4. Thirteen miners were initially trapped about 2.6km below the surface but rescuers managed to get several of them out, a company spokesperson said.

Stock image
Stock image

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said the first seismic event, measuring 2.5, occurred at about 12.23pm, followed by another measuring 2.2 at 13.17pm.

"A third (seismic event occurred) five minutes later, which reportedly measured 1.6. One of the events caused a fall of ground which trapped a total of 13 workers at level 40, which is approximately 2.6km underground.”

In February, nearly 1,000 miners were trapped underground for 30 hours following a power cut caused by a storm in another mine owned by Sibanye-Stillwater. A few days later, two miners were killed after ground collapsed at a mine also belonging to the group.

The Cosatu trade union said it was "alarmed by the deteriorating and poor safety record of Sibanye Stillwater mining company".

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