One miner still missing after fire

Johannesburg - One miner is still missing after a fire broke out at Harmony Gold's Doornkop gold mine, west of Johannesburg, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Thursday.

“We have one still unaccounted for,” NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said.

Harmony boss Patrice Motsepe and Mining Minister Susan Shabangu address the media. Picture: Timothy Bernard. Credit: THE STAR

“We haven't got an update on whether the eight other bodies have been removed. The families of the deceased have been there since yesterday (Wednesday).”

On Thursday morning, the mineral resources department said the bodies of eight miners had been found.

All operations at the mine, other than essential services, were suspended after a fire broke out on level 192 of the mine, roughly 1700 metres underground.

The fire followed a seismic event on Tuesday which triggered a fall of ground, damaging electric cables.

Eighteen people were reported missing at the end of Tuesday's shift. One miner surfaced in the early hours of Wednesday and told rescue workers where the other miners he had seen underground were. Eight miners were brought to the surface unharmed later on Wednesday. Nine miners were still unaccounted for at the time.

The NUM called on the mineral resources department to investigate the accident, with the union ready to participate fully.