South Africa: 955 miners rescued

Gold mine workers trapped underground for more than a day following power cut

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A rescued miner waves as he and his workmates leave the site on a bus
(Image credit: Photo credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 950 South African gold miners have been rescued following a power cut on Wednesday that left them trapped up to 1,000 metres (3,280ft) underground.

After being brought to the surface today, one miner told local broadcaster SABC News: “Feeling very, very bad because we have been there for almost three days. There was no communication with us and we just heard they were gonna bring food underground, but we didn’t even see that food.”

“It was very bad,” another miner told reporters. “I was thinking about my family back at home… The hunger was getting to us. Most of the employees underground were very stressed.”

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Mine operator Sibanye-Stillwater, which manages the Beatrix mine, southwest of Johannesburg, says all the miners are now recovering, adding that there were “cases of of dehydration and high blood pressure but nothing serious”, Agence France-Presse reports. News24 says the exhausted men are undergoing medical checks.

Almost 1,400 miners were initially trapped when a violent storm caused an electric power outage, shutting down the mine’s elevator. One group were rescued yesterday, with the final 955 emerging this morning.

More than 80 people died in South African mines last year, reports the BBC. This week’s incident has raised safety concerns, as the men had no alternative escape route.

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