Two more miners die

Two more miners were killed in separate incidents in the Free State and Gauteng, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Wednesday.

A night shift winch operator collapsed and died on Tuesday night on 60 level at Harmony Gold’s Tshepong mine in the Free State, spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement.

“The cause of the collapse has not yet been identified but suspicion is rife that it could have been the high levels of heat underground.”

Harmony Gold spokeswoman Henrika Basterfield said it was not a mine-related death.

“The worker just collapsed and doctors are investigating the cause of his death.”

Also on Tuesday, a mechanic for a Stefanutti Stocks subcontractor was struck by lightning while working on a vehicle at Anglo Gold Ashanti’s West Wits surface in Gauteng. He was rushed to hospital, but died on arrival.

Anglo Gold Ashanti spokesman Alan Fine said the employee was hit shortly after staff walked outside believing an electric storm that was in the West Wits area had passed.

“When the storm started everyone was brought inside, and when it was believed that it had passed workers went out. It was during this time that this regrettable incident happened,” Fine said.

On Monday another miner was killed in a fall of ground at Gold Fields’ Driefontein mine.

Monday’s death brought to 12 the number of miners killed so far this year.

Seshoka said the union would “forge ahead” with its campaign to ensure amendments were made to the Mine Health and Safety Act to ensure mine bosses were prosecuted when workers’ deaths were preventable.


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