1,800 mine workers trapped underground in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, At least 1,800 mine workers have been trapped underground after some rails that were being transported underground became loose and collapsed a shaft at a platinum mine in the North West province of South Africa.

There have been no serious injuries reported and all employees are safe, James Wellsted, spokesman for mining operator Sibanye-Stillwater said in a statement on Monday.

Wellsted said shaft personnel were removing the rails from the shaft and conducting an inspection to determine if there has been any structural damage so as to make a decision on how to evacuate employees.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said in an earlier statement there were approximately 4,000 miners who were trapped, but the mine operators say only 1,800 workers were stuck underground.

Mining safety standards in South Africa, one of the world's largest producers of gold and other precious metals, have been put into question following a number of fatalities at mines across the country.

South Africa also has one of the deepest mines in the world.

Source: Nam News Network