Skip to content

Tragedy at South African Mine

Eleven people died in an accident at a South African platinum mine on Monday when the lift fell as it was lifting workers at the end of their day, the company that owns the mine, Impala Platinum, said on Tuesday. “Eighty-six employees were standing in the lift, eleven lost their lives and all the others were transferred to hospitals,” a company spokesman told AFP, adding that some of them were seriously injured. In this 1,000-metre-deep shaft, some 150 km north-west of Johannesburg, the lift picked up miners at the bottom and stopped several times on the way up to “collect the miners at the end of their shift”, shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday (15:00 GMT), Johan Theron, a spokesman for the mining company, told AFP. At the third stop, “it suddenly started to go back down”, he added, explaining that the system was automated. “Some died, others were seriously injured and others escaped with scratches”, the spokesman said, adding that many of the injured had broken ankles and legs.