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Miners Reported in Good Condition as Rescue Continues

October 15, 1993

CARLETONVILLE, South Africa (AP) _ Labor leaders accused a South Africa gold mine of neglecting safety as 120 miners awaited rescue today, two days after they were trapped in a two-mile- deep shaft.

Rescue teams lowered food, water and medical supplies to the miners, who became trapped Wednesday afternoon when pipes dislodged and thundered down the shaft.

A spokesman at the Kloof gold mine in Carletonville, 30 miles southwest of Johannesburg, said none of the men were injured and each would be hoisted to the surface today.

The National Union of Mine Workers accused managers of neglecting the lives of mine workers, ″especially blacks.″ In a statement, it also accused the mine of covering up the cause and extent of the accident. The union represents tens of thousands of mostly black miners.

The mine spokesman, Mike Eksteen, denied the allegations. However, he said reports from mining officials Thursday afternoon that 40 miners had been rescued were not true.

Mine accidents are common in South Africa’s gold mines, the deepest in the world and miners’ unions frequently complain about lax safety standards.

In May, 53 miners were killed in a methane gas blast at a mine in Secunda, 60 miles outside Johannesburg. The country’s worst mine accident was in January 1960, when 437 miners were buried in a mine south of the city.

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