Close to 1000 miners trapped 1km underground at a gold mine in South Africa

Updated at 2018-02-02 00:03:46 UTC

Close to 1 000 miners are currently trapped underground at a gold mine in the Free State. We have all the details as rescue proceedings have been urged to speed up.


More than 900 miners are currently trapped underground in a Free State gold mine after an electric cable outage was caused by a storm on Wednesday night. The miners are trapped at Sibanye-Stillwater Gold Mine. Spokesperson James Wellsted told News24 on Thursday afternoon that although all miners are safe and accounted for, they are now trying to restore the power in order to get the miners out. Generators have been brought in to assist.
“We are experiencing some issues, but they [the miners] have all been accounted for,” Wellsted said.

Miners trapped

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has said around 940 workers were originally trapped. Thankfully, 40 were rescued from one of the mine’s shafts. Mine management has been called on to “mobilise all resources” in order to complete the rescue as soon as possible.

“Amcu views this incident as extreme due to the sheer number of workers involved. It is common cause that lives might already be threatened due to dehydration and blood sugar issues because of a lack of nutrition,” he said. “It is also quite common for adults to be on chronic medication, and it is highly probable that there are some workers who are trapped without access to their medicine.” “Mining is very unsafe, and mineworkers risk life and limb daily to put bread on the table for their families. AMCU calls on Sibanye-Stillwater management to step up its rescue efforts so that these workers can be brought back to the surface as soon as possible.”

The miners are not reported to be in any danger. South Africans on social media have been quick to send their thoughts and prayers to the trapped miners. Others called for immediate action.