3 mineworkers killed

2010-10-22 08:00

Johannesburg - Three mineworkers died in separate accidents in the past two days, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday.

One worker died on Friday morning at Impala Platinum in Rustenburg, North West.

"The worker died after inhaling noxious gases in an old disused working place which the mine had planned to use as a raiseboring site," said NUM health and safety chairperson Peter Bailey.

"This comes on the footsteps of two separate fatalities that took place yesterday [Thursday] when a team leader was run over by a guardhopper at Goldfields' Beatrix Mine in the Free State at 15:00.

"Earlier in the day, another worker died at Harmony's Kusasalethu (formerly Elandsrand mine) when a skip was dislodged and fell down the shaft killing a rigger, Mr Jackson Morena."

Harmony's chief executive Graham Briggs confirmed the accident at the Carletonville mine and expressed his condolences to Morena's family.

Bailey called for improved safety on mines.

"This is a tragedy unfolding in the mines, it is a tragedy of maximum proportions," he said.

"If this is what the industry calls improved safety, then they are heartless and need prosecution."