5 miners die at W Rand mine

2012-07-01 16:12

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Johannesburg - Five miners died from asphyxiation on level 39 of the Driefontein Goldfields mine on the West Rand, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said on Sunday.

"The five miners died as a result of smoke inhalation... [while] they were working overtime doing mudloading," spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.

Early indications were there was no compressed air in the section where they were working, he said. Eleven other miners were hospitalised. Their conditions were not known.

Police could not confirm the deaths and Goldfields could not immediately be reached for comment.

Num general secretary Frans Baleni said: "We strongly condemn the company for sending workers on overtime night shift when there is no ventilation."

Num called on the department of mineral resources to launch an investigation into the alleged safety lapses.

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