Miners Reported in Good Condition as Rescue Continues
CARLETONVILLE, South Africa (AP) _ A group of gold miners remained trapped underground for a second day Friday, and officials said it could be another day before all were safe.
A mine workers’ union accused Kloof Gold Mine officials of neglecting workers’ safety. Sixty-eight miners were trapped about two miles underground when a pipe dislodged and thundered down the main shaft Wednesday afternoon.
None of the men was injured, said Mike Eksteen, spokesman for the mine about 30 miles southwest of Johannesburg. But rescue operations were hampered by debris that blocked some passages, forcing rescuers to bring the men to surface one at a time.
Mine accidents are common in South Africa’s gold mines, the deepest in the world, and miners’ unions often 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.