Three miners died after one side of the Klipdam Diamond Mine wall collapsed into the pit, while another worker escaped serious injury.

Kimberley - The bodies of the remaining two miners were retrieved from Klipdam Diamond Mine near Windsorton on Tuesday morning.

Three miners died on Friday after one side of the mine wall collapsed into the pit, while another worker escaped serious injury.

The body of a 35-year-old miner was recovered on Saturday morning at 3am, after which recovery operations had to be halted due to dangerous soil conditions at the site.

The mine owner, Dirk Fourie, said that all the bodies had been brought to the surface on Tuesday and that the next of kin had been immediately informed on Friday about the accident.

“The investigation by the Department of Mineral Resources and the SAPS is continuing. We had to wait until the ground was stabilised in order to continue with the recovery operations,” said Fourie.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Sergio Kock indicated that the recovery operation resumed on Tuesday afternoon and two bodies of male employees of the mine were found by the SAPS Search and Rescue Team.

“The deceased are said to be 39 and 45 years old respectively. The investigation continues,” said Kock.

The police have opened an inquest into the deaths.

The family of one of the miners, however, stated that the company had failed to keep them updated with the latest developments.

Botumile Mothibi was convinced that his brother, Piet Mongale, was killed in the accident.

“My younger brother was working for the company for the past five years. He is 35 years old and we learnt of the accident through the media.

“I rushed home to Schweizer-Reneke, where my brother lived with my parents, after hearing the news. Nobody gave us first-hand information and we have been unable to speak to anyone from the company. We were told that they could not reveal the identities of the deceased until all three bodies were recovered. No one has contacted us either to come and identify the body.”

Mothibi was concerned that safety procedures were not followed at the mine.

“It is as if there is no regard for a life and now we have been left in limbo because we have no idea of what is happening.”

He added that his brother was the main breadwinner in the family and he would send home money every month to his mother and father.

“We are a family of six brothers and my parents are completely devastated because they do not know what is going on. It is very hard for us and my parents are not taking it well.”

Mothibi added that the other deceased miners’ families resided in Bloemhof and Schweizer-Reneke.

“It is far from the mine and the company will have to provide us with transport to identify the bodies. We do not even know to which mortuary my brother has been sent.”

DFA

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