UPDATE: Orkney mining rescue operation expected to take three days

accreditation
(iStock)
(iStock)

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for "drastic action" to improve the safety standards and procedures at mines, as four mine workers are trapped and feared dead in a mine in Orkney.

Rescue teams are currently on site, but it is estimated that it will take three or four days to rescue the workers due to rocks continuing to fall underground, the NUM said in a statement.

The mine workers became trapped at the Tau Lekoa mine in Orkney after "seismic activity" on Friday afternoon.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu confirmed the incident, saying the seismic activity took place at 12:00 on Friday.

As a result, five mine workers were trapped, although one was rescued immediately after. He suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital, Mammburu said.

READ | Four mine workers trapped, feared dead in Orkney

"Earlier [on Friday] the proto team was able to communicate with the four mine workers who are still trapped underground, but later they were no longer responding," the statement reads.

NUM president Joseph Montisetse told eNCA a team was working around the clock to rescue the trapped workers. The incident has left the union "deeply worried and concerned", he said.

"The NUM strongly believes that it's necessary to compel the mining industry to comply with safety standards and procedures… We call on the state to hold the industry fully accountable for its failures and adopt a no-nonsense approach when it comes to mine deaths."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nappies, they cost too much
7% - 312 votes
Formula and food, it's getting so expensive
18% - 823 votes
Creche and school fees are a struggle every month
76% - 3527 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.82
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.76
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.76
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.14
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,846.30
+0.2%
Silver
22.02
+0.5%
Palladium
2,041.00
+1.6%
Platinum
968.00
+0.1%
Brent Crude
112.04
+2.6%
Top 40
61,726
0.0%
All Share
68,246
0.0%
Resource 10
71,337
0.0%
Industrial 25
75,802
0.0%
Financial 15
15,729
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE