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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.
“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.”
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