Rescuers killed searching for miner

2011-09-27 14:05

Johannesburg - Two rescue workers have been killed while trying to retrieve the body of a miner in Harmony Gold's Evander mine in Mpumalanga, the company said on Tuesday.

A third member of the external rescue team made it back to the surface unhurt. The accident happened on Monday.

"At this stage we don't know what happened, but an investigation is underway today," Harmony spokesperson Marian van der Walt said.

The Harmony miner was believed to be working in the ore pass, a steep and narrow channel used to move equipment and ore up and down the mine, when he was killed.

The rescue team was searching for his body when there was a second accident.

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs expressed condolences to the families and colleagues of the deceased.

All mining had been stopped while the cause of the two accidents was investigated.

"This is very traumatic for everyone," Van der Walt said.

  • chantal de pierres - 2011-09-27 14:15

    How good is health and safety in our mines?

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-27 14:27

      you have nooo idea how anal health and safety is, almost to the point that i have no idea how anyone actually gets any work done. rip ppl

      Tokkel Loshi - 2011-09-27 14:35

      Who cares they wont be our mines much longer !!

      alessandroz067 - 2011-09-27 14:35

      anal health? i think you're a bit confused...

      Wow! - 2011-09-27 14:40

      I have consulted to the mines. Health and Safety is their very top priority. They really are "anal" about it. However, there are sooooo many variables in a mine that some time or other one gets to you. One of the biggest factors is human fault. we simply cannot operate in a state of constant awareness all the time.

      Donald - 2011-09-27 14:48

      @alessandroz067, you have obviously never heard of the expression 'being anal'....... what Chantal says makes perfect sense.

      Rubbish - 2011-09-27 14:50

      Tokkel Loshi: When we take them for a good course you won`t be compesated and whites will be forced to maintain them for two decades. You moron

  • Badballie - 2011-09-27 14:15

    yea, I'm sure the board of directors and shareholders are really traumatized by the prospect of losing income.

  • Gadafi007 - 2011-09-27 14:26

    white bosses neglecting safety as always ,nationalization would reduce all this planned under ground accidents

      Tolerant - 2011-09-27 14:30

      So you would rather work for "small" Zuma and Hurley's mines.

      Dal68 - 2011-09-27 14:30

      @gadafi....ignorance shows your intelect....rather hush and go play in the street

      africanwolf - 2011-09-27 14:33

      There are black bosses too don't think they would like the idea that their business being nationalised same as you won't like someone to come to your house and nationalise your furniture and car

      daaivark - 2011-09-27 14:44

      OldSA. You are out of your mind. Nowhere is there any mention of the race of the rescuers. So firstly, your seriously racist remark is way off beam. Secondly, one can accuse News24 of many things: poor language; worse journalism; etc. but the accusation you make is just so obviously utter rubbish. Just look at the arrant racism vented by both sides of a divide that should simply not exist. Nothing more blind than those who refuse to see.

      daaivark - 2011-09-27 14:47

      Oh yes.... and hey wow lookie there, you have even got pride of place as a pointer with your pathetic bleat. Is your little ego sufficiently stroked?

      Ronnie Tippett - 2011-09-27 14:50

      OldSA Why make a comment like that? You are stooping to racists like Gadafi007's level. Why bring race into it at all?? You just add fuel to the fire. Idiots like Gadafi007 shouldn't even be acknowledged - his pen name alone should warn us off.

      Dal68 - 2011-09-27 14:50

      @daaivark, true about the blind guy, can we then assume most people in SA are racists?

      Donald - 2011-09-27 14:54

      @Gadafi007 - and how do you think a nationalised mine is going to mine? People will still need to go underground and accidents will still happen. You're so intelligent I'm sure you'll be top management material for one of these nationalised mines.

      Sgtsa - 2011-09-27 15:01

      Dude wake up and smell the coffee, if you nationalize the mines there deff won’t be any mining in them. Just like the farms and other business, Joker. Give it 10 years and they will be sold back lol

      daaivark - 2011-09-27 15:11

      No Dal. That would be a huge disservice to the many of us who are trying to live in peace in our country. Many despise racism. Unfortunately it's the rabid freaks that make the most noise.

      Fedup - 2011-09-27 15:37

      Ever heard of Norman Mbazima ..... 2nd in charge to Cynthia Caroll of ANGLO AMERICAN MINES ........... He is black not white idiot. And for your information SHE is their No. 1 priority in their minds. Oh but your such a moron you probably dont know what SHE stands for. Safety, Health and Environmental. Their motto SAFETY IS NO. 1

      OldSA - 2011-09-27 16:19

      Sorry Guys, I was out of line.

      shane.jacoby - 2011-09-27 17:00

      Gadafi007 - Don't be a retard! If you can not enforce safety yourself, don't blame management! What? You expect them to come underground and make it safe for you? It's policy on almost every mine - SAFETY FIRST! If you didn't make it safe, then its your own fault!

  • Janice - 2011-09-27 14:30

    Good Gosh, that is so sad!

  • One - 2011-09-27 14:31

    Much better than what it is overseas. My condolences to the families of the deceased. An ore pass is generally quite dangerous and if no risk assessment was done prior to the work being done in the ore pass prior to the accident, a lot of questions will be asked. While a lot is being done to improve safety underground at our mines it remains a fairly dangerous place and the men and women going underground on a daily basis to extract gold really have my respect. The number one thing to always remember is that safety comes first, and if a place isn't safe to work in they really must not work there until the hazard has been removed. For each day that a mine stands still after such an incident it can lose up to 5 or 6 million a day. I hope they can resolve this as soon as possible so that the mine will be up and running again in no time.

  • kalabafazi - 2011-09-27 14:45

    Roads are more dangerous than mines. More South Africans put themselves at risk just going to work than the average miner faces on a daily basis.

      One - 2011-09-27 14:54

      I won't argue that fact Kalabafazi. Our roads are very dangerous. Our mines are also very dangerous and the conditions underground are harsh. Hence why I say that these people going underground everyday have my respect. Fall of Ground is very real and very unpredictable. While everything is done to ensure that good support is in place to prevent people from being trapped in a fall of ground, it happens from time to time that people do get trapped. Geologists study the rocks especially any hanging walls to see that this kind of thing doesn't happen. But they never truly know when it's going to happen.

  • One - 2011-09-27 14:48

    @OldSA it really was an unfortunate incident to have happened. I don't think it can be blamed on a specific ethnic group. Accidents underground caused by locos derailing or crashing for instance, or sub-standard work practice is another thing. An ore pass is very unpredictable.

  • One - 2011-09-27 15:10

    When I think of nationalization of mines I think of whole Aurora disaster. Not a pretty sight at all! Leave the mines as they are.

  • Lee - 2011-09-27 15:23

    Awww shame how tragic. Sorry to hear such bad news about people who were making every effort to save others. My condolences to the family. They were heroes.

      One - 2011-09-27 15:30

      I agree. These people who rescue others put their lives in danger each and every time they go out to perform a rescue operation. They are heroes indeed.

  • Ingie - 2011-09-27 15:38


  • Arries - 2011-09-27 17:02

    My condolences to the families. Guys working in the Proto teams really are brave people!

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