Specially trained mine rescue teams have been working throughout the night to rescue five employees trapped underground at Kusasalethu mine near Carletonville in Gauteng, Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited said on Saturday.
The incident followed a seismic event, about 3100 metres below the surface at around 10.30am on Friday, which resulted in a fall of ground, Harmony said in a statement.
“All operations at the mine, other than those related to the rescue, have been suspended. Rescue efforts will continue until the five men have been found. Further information will be released as this becomes available,” Harmony said.
On Friday evening, Harmony spokeswoman Marian van der Walt said rescuers “will search for the employees who are trapped underground until we find them; saving them is our priority at the moment”.
Van der Walt said about 3000 miners were working when sections of the mine collapsed at around 10.30am. She said it was unclear whether the collapse was caused by mining activity or seismic waves.
“All the miners were accounted for except these five miners. We are considering a few options for the rescue while keeping the safety of everyone in mind.”
She said the five miners had their safety packs with them.
– African News Agency (ANA)