Mineworker dies in explosion

2011-07-13 21:40

Johannesburg - A mineworker died at Goldfield's Beatrix mine in the Free State on Wednesday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.

"[A] rockdrill operator died when he drilled into a misfire which then caused an explosion. A winch driver has been wounded in the process," said spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

A misfire is when a drill hole filled with explosives fails to explode.

Another mineworker died in a rock fall at Harmony Gold's Tshepong mine in the Free State on Tuesday.

Wednesday's incident brought the total number of mineworkers killed while on duty to 70 this year.

Seshoka said union members will be marching to the Chamber of Mines' office on Hollard Street, Marshalltown, in Johannesburg on Saturday to hand over a memorandum demanding that safety must be improved in mines.

He called on the mine industry to "put people before profits".

  • Mack - 2011-07-13 22:00

    It is very sad indeed that we have been mining for many years in this country and yet we have not masterminded how we can mine smartly without shedding the blood of the innocent.

      Brieuse - 2011-07-13 22:23

      The safety rules are there. At least on the mines I have worked. People choose to ignore the rules. Then people get hurt. So more rules get made. More rules get ignored. For example, working at heights at the mines I work at require a trained at heights certification. As soon as the safety officer's back is turned, the workers get slack and sometimes that safety harness is not always fastened to a secure point.

      Barry - 2011-07-14 10:29

      We cannot always blame managment on the mines for the accidents that kill people. Safety measures are put in place to protect workers, but workers choose to take short cuts. The miner in charge of the section should have washed the face down and examined for misfires before marking the face off for drilling, which wasn't done. The DMR should impose heavier fines and even imprisonment for workers who don't adhere to mining rules and regulations

      Ross - 2011-07-14 11:02

      We also have third world people working in a first world environment. The two are not compatible hence the the accidents.

  • sheep - 2011-07-14 09:50

    we need to nationalise the mines immediately, this greedy unethical white capitalist must be driven to th sea as a matter of greatest urgency. Amandla, power to the people.

      Barry - 2011-07-14 10:30


  • Ross - 2011-07-14 10:59

    Deep level mining is a very dangerous business and unfortunately like on our roads fatal accidents are unavoidable. All deep level mines must be closed down.

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