South African Gold Mine Collapses Near Baberton

The lily mine also known as Makonjwaan mine caved in, trapping 87 people while three other people were declared missing as a result of the collapse of the South African gold mine hours ago. Mike Begg, the mine manager told reporters;

“The three missing are office workers, not miners. We are not going to rest until we find them.”

There are speculations about the initial number of people involved at the mine. The chief executive of the small gold producer, and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Mike McChesney at first, reported that there were 115 workers trapped at the gold mine.

“As we speak, they might already all be out. Most have been evacuated,” he told Reuters by telephone.

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Jacques Ainslie, a paramedic from Hi-Tech Ambulance Services told News24, “One of the shafts collapsed and trapped about 52 mine workers. At this stage 70% of the workers or 30 have been rescued. No one sustained serious injuries and they could all walk out of the shaft. They have been transported to local hospitals for treatment,”

The collapse occurred at the entrance to the mine. The cause of the collapse has not been reported yet. “At this point, it’s unclear what caused the disaster,” said Manzini Zungu, a spokesman for the Association of Mine workers and Construction Union. However, operations at the mine have been suspended in order for investigations to be carried out to ascertain the cause.

Vantage Goldfields is an Australia-based company mining gold near Baberton, Mpumalanga province in North-eastern South Africa.

South Africa’s gold mines are among the deepest and most dangerous in the world. Last year, a mine collapse led to the death of 77 workers, which is the lowest death toll in South Africa’s mining history. Also, last month a fire incident at a platinum mine near Johannesburg killed four.

No deaths have been reported in this case yet.

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