Mine deaths shock minister

2009-07-21 12:26

Johannesburg - Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, has expressed shock and deep regret at the loss of nine lives at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg operations.

In a statement on Tuesday, Shabangu conveyed condolences to the families of the dead miners.

The statement added that she would visit the scene of the tragedy on Tuesday and would be briefed by the mine's management.

"The Chief Inspector of Mines has issued an order to stop all mechanised operations at Impala utilising the bord-and-pillar mining system to allow for a full investigation of the ground conditions in their workings and the local and regional support regime at Impala Platinum," the statement said.

Investigations into the incident are continuing.

The nine workers died in a fall of ground incident at Shaft 14 on Monday.

Two bodies were initially recovered and a search began for seven miners who were unaccounted for.

A further five bodies were found during the night.

Rescue teams were still searching for the remaining two miners.