Fire breaks out in mine, 9 missing

Johannesburg - Nine miners are unaccounted for after a fire broke out at Harmony Gold's Doornkop mine on Tuesday night, the company said on Wednesday.

The fire occurred about 1 733 metres underground, and was first reported at about 18:00 on Tuesday.

"Rescue teams were immediately dispatched underground, but access to the affected area is being hampered by smoke and a subsequent fall of ground. Operations at the mine have been suspended," the company said in a statement.

Contact was made with eight employees in a refuge bay, and rescuers are trying to reach these employees and establish the whereabouts of the nine employees who are unaccounted for.

The mine is situated west of Johannesburg.

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