Wednesday, February 28, 2024

South Africa: 11 killed in a platinum mine accident

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

At least 11 workers have died at a platinum mine in South Africa.

The incident has also injured 75 others. The lift was bringing workers to the surface at the end of their shift when it unexpectedly dropped about 200 metres (656ft).

The latest accident took place at a mine in Rustenburg, about 100km (60 miles) north-west of Johannesburg.

Impala Platinum chief executive Nico Muller described it as the “darkest day” in the company’s history.

The mining firm said the accident involved a winding rope connected to a lift which hoists people up and down the mine shaft. The lift started moving downwards unexpectedly, it added.

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South Africa is a leading producer of platinum, gold and other raw materials.

Safety concerns

There have been concerns about safety conditions on its mines, but the situation has improved since white-minority rule ended in 1994.

About 50 deaths were recorded in mines in 2022, down from 74 in the previous year.

Impala Platinum said an investigation was under way into the exact cause of the “devastating accident”. All mining operations have been suspended.

“Implats is offering ongoing support to the families and colleagues of those lost in service,” Mr Muller said in a statement.

“We also hold our injured colleagues in our thoughts at this incredibly difficult time.”

Company spokesman Johan Theron said that some had sustained very serious injuries and were being treated in hospital.

He described the accident as “highly unusual” and said the lift which malfunctioned was used worldwide and had a reputation of being safe.

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Source: Africafeeds.com

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