CAPE TOWN, S. Africa:July 1 (Xinhua) — Five miners died and 11 others were hospitalized as a result of smoke inhalation in a South African gold mine, it was announced on Sunday.
The accident took place overnight on level 39 of the Driefontein Goldfields mine on the West Rand in Gauteng province, according to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
The miners were working overtime doing mudloading when the accident occurred, NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said. Early indications showed there was no compressed air in the section where they were working, he said.
Eleven other miners were rescued and sent to hospital for treatment, but their conditions were not clear, according to Seshoka.
NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said: “We strongly condemn the company for sending workers on overtime night shift when there is no ventilation.”
So far Goldfields has not made comment about the accident. NUM called on the department of mineral resources to launch an investigation into the accident which it said was caused by safety lapses.
Over 40 miners have died this year so far, including 10 who were killed last month in the Bontekoe diamond mine disaster near Kleinzee in the Northern Cape, according to NUM. (Xinhua)