Eight miners killed in underground fire after earthquake in South Africa

February 7, 2014SOUTH AFRICAEight gold miners in South Africa died after a magnitude-2.4 earthquake triggered an underground fire, and rescue teams operating deep below the surface were searching for a ninth missing miner, a mining company said Thursday. Smoke and a rockfall had hampered searchers struggling to find any survivors after fire broke out 1.7 kilometers underground at the Doornkop mine around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Harmony company said in a statement. The mine is 30 kilometers west of Johannesburg. On Wednesday morning, rescue teams located eight other miners who had sought refuge from the fire and brought all of them to the surface within several hours. On Thursday morning, Harmony announced the discovery of eight bodies. National Union of Mineworkers, a major labor group, said the rockfall had ruptured electrical cables, triggering the fire, and that water and ventilation pipes were also damaged. It called for an urgent investigation. “Our members’ lives must come first. The health and safety measures must be applied,” said Livhuwani Mammburu, a union spokesman. “There is technology available to actively monitor seismicity underground. We wonder if Harmony has got that technology.” James Duncan, a Harmony spokesman, said the company has monitoring equipment. “Seismicity is not an exact science,” Duncan said. “The challenge is to stay abreast of current technology, make sure you have the best that is available and continue to strive for improvement.” South Africa has some of the deepest mines in the world, raising concern about the safety of workers who could be more vulnerable to tremors and other dangers.
The Doornkop mine shaft extends about two kilometers below ground. Harmony’s deepest gold mines go to twice that depth, Duncan said. South Africa’s ministry of mineral resources said its chief mine inspector visited the Doornkop mine on Wednesday. Minister Susan Shabangu said this week — just before learning of the fatal fire — that miners’ health and safety had improved significantly since a panel, formed after the end of white minority rule in 1994, found poor safety standards and inadequate enforcement of existing laws. The parliament will soon consider amendments that strengthen the country’s mine health and safety laws, Shabangu said at an international mining conference in Cape Town. More than 54,000 miners in South Africa have died in accidents since reporting began in 1904, and many more have died from exposure to hazardous dust, gas and fumes, the ministry says on its website. The Chamber of Mines, an industry group, said there were 112 deaths in South African mine operations in 2012, a 9 per cent reduction over the previous year. The mining industry in South Africa, a pillar of the economy, is struggling with increasing costs and labor unrest. Workers have been on strike for two weeks in the country’s platinum-mining sector, amid sporadic reports of clashes pitting protesters against mine security and police. In 2012, police shot and killed several dozen miners during labor unrest at a Lonmin platinum mine. –CTV News
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This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Infrastructure collapse, Landslide & geological deformation, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Tectonic plate movement. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Eight miners killed in underground fire after earthquake in South Africa

  1. Ray Of Strength says:

    Indeed the voices of rage are getting louder, the monetary system of this world is destroying this planet and it’s many forms of life just so that a minority of “people” can have fat wallets. It’s sick and it’s gonna have to stop! Will human kind wake up and say enough or will Mother Earth do it for them. The All One or The Source or what humans call God is not happy.

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  2. Tina Tenis says:

    It didn’t say in the article if Earthquakes happen very often in that area? I can’t recall having ever heard much about Earthquakes in Africa before.

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  3. Northwestjeff says:

    Yes it is sick. The money changers are in the temple. Being a builder of high rises and other extravagant edifices to the greatness of man for twenty five years I finally had to leave because my convictions went against my occupation and it became so strong that I was no longer happy. I lost eight friends in that line of work and had more get so hurt that their monetary careers were over. Mankind probably won’t wake up, its just a natural cycle. I think it will take a combination of disease and natural disaster to get us back to equilibrium and sustainability. When will this happen- I ain’t going to hold my breath but I do believe it can happen very quickly. So I fall back on what I believe is my purpose for being created. Take the abundance of Gods love and bring it into the actions of my life- it is the surest way of being happy and respecting my purpose.
    Take care all
    Thanks Alvin

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