Biz-Community (Cape Town)

3 July 2012

South Africa: Num - Miners Worked Without Compressed Air, Died of Asphyxiation

The Department of Mineral Resources sent condolences to the family and friends of the five mineworkers killed during a fire at a Gold Fields shaft at the weekend, Independent Online says. Gold Fields said the five miners died when a fire broke out in KDC West mine's Ya-Rona shaft in Merafong, near Carletonville, on Saturday night.

According to Independent Online, 14 miners were taken to hospital and, by Sunday, three had been discharged. Spokeswoman Zingaphi Jakuja said that so far this year there have been 63 mining fatalities and 1425 injuries. "This indicates that the health and safety in the mining sector is still a serious challenge," she said. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the five died of asphyxiation and that they had been working without available compressed air.

Chamber of Mines CEO Reggie Sibiya also extended its condolences. He said in a statement that the chamber - an industry employer's association - would continue working with the government and unions towards safer working conditions, reports Independent Online

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