10:36, 04.Jul 2017
About 950 gold miners were stuck underground in South Africa on Thursday after a power cut, the mine’s owner said, though the workers were not reported to be in immediate danger.
The Sibanye-Stillwater mining company said a massive power outage had prevented lifts from bringing the night shift to the surface at the Beatrix gold mine, near the central city of Welkom.
“We sent rescue teams down, accounted for all the people and obviously are trying to get them out of there as soon as possible,” James Wellsted, spokesman for Sibanye-Stillwater, told ENCA television.
“All employees appear to be fine. We are supplying food and water,” Wellsted added in a telephone message to AFP.
About 65 people were rescued during the day, with 950 remaining trapped underground by early evening, the company said.
Wellsted said that engineers were struggling to get emergency generators to operate and re-start the lifts.
“We are busy working on that issue at the moment,” he added.
The Beatrix mine is in Free State province, 290 kilometres (180 miles) southwest of Johannesburg.