south africa mining collapse

Still photos of emergency services on surface of South African gold mine site which collapsed, more than 100 trapped

More than 100 people are unaccounted for after a gold mine in Mpumalanga province in northeastern South Africa caved in, a union official says.

BABERTON, MPUMALANGA, SOUTH AFRICA (FEBRUARY 05, 2016) (LOWVELDER & BARBERTON TIMES) – More than 100 people were unaccounted for after a gold mine in Mpumalanga province in northeastern South Africa caved in, a union official said on Friday (February 5), while emergency services said 49 miners had so far been brought to the surface.

South Africa’s mines are the deepest and among the most dangerous in the world.

Manzini Zungu, spokesman for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), said some 115 union members were trapped underground after a cave-in at the Makonjwaan Gold Mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga province, at 8:40 a.m. (0640 GMT). He couldn’t say what caused the incident.

The mine is located about 360 km east of Johannesburg.

Fatalities in the industry have been falling due to both improved safety practices and a reduction in the labour force as production declines.

Last year, 77 workers were killed in mining accidents, the lowest number on record.