Operations underway to retrieve bodies after mine accident

2010-07-07 09:59

Operations are underway to retrieve three bodies after five people

were killed in a mine accident near Rustenburg, the National Union of

Mineworkers (NUM) said today.

“Two of the five bodies have been retrieved and the operation to

retrieve three other bodies is underway,” NUM general secretary Frans Baleni


He said the accident happened late last night at Marikana Aquarius

Platinum mine.

“The workers who are contracted to Murray & Roberts Cementation

died after a fall of ground...”

Seven mine workers were trapped and five of them died.

Baleni said that one person was critically injured and one left

unscathed. He said the cause of the fall of ground was not yet known.

“This is a disaster. At a time when the industry brags of its so

called ‘improved safety’, we now have disasters raising their ugly heads


Baleni said the union was calling for a full investigation into the


Aquarius Platinum Limited said it “deeply regret[ted]” the


“The investigation into the cause of the accident will commence

this afternoon.”

The company said it was in contact with unions, employee

associations and the department of mineral resources.

“Operations at 4 Shaft have been suspended.”

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it was shocked at the


“No effort must be spared to find the cause of the accident and

measures must be taken to prevent any future accidents at the plant,” said

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven.

“The number of accidents in South Africa’s mines remains far too

high and all safety measures must be urgently reviewed so that the carnage can

be ended.”

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