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Mine safety a concern

By unknown | Jan 19, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Accidents in mining make it harder for many people to venture underground.

Accidents in mining make it harder for many people to venture underground.

For people with relatives in the industry, anxiety has become their second nature.

Why? Every underground worker will tell you he or she is not sure of resurfacing alive after a shift. It is a matter of life and death.

Life because it provides a living in this harsh economic climate. Death because of the far too frequent loss of life.

On Saturday, barely hours after a miner died when he was struck by a rock at Blyvooruitzicht gold mine near Carletonville, the power went off at 10pm. About 275 miners were trapped underground.

Efforts to rescue 167 of them from depths of between 2 294m and 2 882m continued for most of the day yesterday.

Thanks to small mercies, the miners were all safely brought to the surface early last night.

Mine spokesman James Duncan said lightning struck an Eskom electrical sub-station and a mine sub-station, causing the blackout.

Some working stations were filled with smoke after cables caught fire.

Unions and government have not stopped complaining about safety at the mines.

And that Blyvooruitzicht did not have a secondary power supply justifies their case. Safety at our mines needs to be jerked up as soon as yesterday.


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