Death toll in Masakhane mine accident rises

Image: 123RF/ fesenko

The death toll as a result of seismic events at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Masakhane mine in Driefontein, near Carletonville on the West Rand, has risen to seven‚ the company confirmed on Saturday.

It said that all 13 mineworkers who had been trapped underground as a result of three seismic events on Thursday had now been recovered.

“Regrettably‚ the last three employees who were recovered passed away from their injuries‚ bringing the total number of fatalities as a result of the seismic event to seven‚” it said.

The six miners who survived the ordeal were in a stable condition in hospital‚ it added.

“The families of the employees have been contacted and are receiving necessary support and counselling.

“The board and management of Sibanye-Stillwater wishes to express its sincere condolences to friends and family of the deceased employees and those impacted by this tragic event.”

The company said a thorough investigation by management and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and other stakeholders would be performed and all efforts would be made to prevent incidents of this nature occurring in future.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Saturday called for production at the mine to remain halted until the investigation was finalised.

“The union undertakes to heighten its campaign in ensuring that the Department of Mineral Resources ups its game in regulating mining in South Africa. The union will be meeting with Minister Gwede Mantashe to discuss the failures of DMR in this and other regards‚” it said in a statement.

The union expressed its condolences to the families of the seven miners who died.

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