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South Africa gold mine: About 950 workers trapped underground

Food and water is reaching the miners, their employer says

About 950 workers are trapped underground in a gold mine in South Africa after a storm caused a power cut and blocked their way out.

Without electricity, the lifts could not bring night shift workers to the surface, but they “appear to be fine”, a spokesman for their employer said.

He said about 65 miners have so far been rescued and all are accounted for.

South Africa is a leading gold producer, but the industry has often been accused of a poor safety record.

The Beatrix mine is in Welkom town, about 290km (180 miles) south-west of Johannesburg. It is owned by Sibanye-Stillwater mining firm.

It has 23 levels, going down to 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) below ground.

“All employees appear to be fine. We are supplying food and water,” its spokesman James Wellsted said, AFP news agency reports.

Engineers were struggling to get emergency generators to operate and to get the lifts working again, he added.

“We are busy working on that issue at the moment,” Mr Wellsted said.

Source: BBC

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  1. Does it mean the mines don’t have emergency generators on standby? If they have, how often do they service and test run them?

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