South African mining disaster: 4,000 miners trapped as exit blocked at Sibanye Stillwater

Miners at the Sibanye Stillwater site are trapped under the earth with emergency services currently on the scene to try and get them free. The collapse of the mine was caused by malfunctioning transporting equipment. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said in a statement: “AMCU has received disturbing reports from branch leaders at Sibanye-Stillwater Platinum Mine’s Thembelani Shaft, where apparently around 4,000 workers are trapped underground.

“Even though details are still sketchy, initial reports confirm that the incident was caused by a cage transporting equipment underground malfunctioned, resulting in the exit being obstructed.

“More details will follow as further reports are received.”

It is expected the firm cold use an adjacent shaft to hoist the workers out of the ground.

It has also been reported rails being transported also fell and blocked the exit to the mine in the incident.

AMCU added: “AMCU’s prayers are with the mineworkers and we hope and trust that they will be returned to the surface as soon as possible.

“We trust that our safety stewards will do their utmost to address the problem.

“However, we are concerned that, once again, Sibanye-Stillwater failed to inform AMCU about the incident in time.

“We will monitor the situation and respond accordingly.”

This is a breaking news story.

More to follow…

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