From Reuters via Globe and Mail
South African emergency workers rescued eight miners trapped a mile underground on Wednesday by a fire and rock-fall at Harmony Gold’s Doornkop mine near Johannesburg, but nine other workers remained unaccounted for.
Rescue teams had to battle through smoke and debris at a depth of 1,700 metres to reach the eight, who had managed to flee to a refuge bay equipped with a telephone and other survival items.
“Efforts continue to establish the whereabouts of a further nine employees who are currently unaccounted for,” the company said in a statement.
Chief executive Graham Briggs cancelled a presentation at a major industry conference in Cape Town to fly to Johannesburg to oversee the rescue effort at the mine, 30 km (20 miles) west of Johannesburg. Normal mining operations were suspended.
The National Union of Mineworkers said the fire broke out on Tuesday evening after an earthquake that damaged ventilation and water pipes as well as power cables.
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