The bodies of three of the four mineworkers who were trapped in a gold mine near Orkney were recovered by rescue workers on Saturday evening.
Village Main Reef (VMR) spokesperson James Duncan said the recoveries at the Tau Lekoa mine were made at around 19:00.
“The board and management of VMR extend their deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the workers who have died. Work continues to reach the remaining trapped worker.”
Five workers were trapped by a rockfall following seismic activity in the mine on Friday afternoon.
One of the workers was rescued soon afterward and was in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
More than 100 people – volunteers from the company’s own workforce as well as specially trained rescue teams from Mines Rescue Services – have been involved in the rescue, some 1 350m below the surface.
The team had dealt with difficult conditions because of the volume of fallen rock and threat of further rockfalls.
Duncan earlier said additional support was installed to safeguard the rescue workers.
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu has called for “drastic action” to improve the safety standards and procedures at mines
NUM president Joseph Montisetse believed the workers had been mining natural support pillars within the mine shaft and failed to create new artificial support pillars out of rock and cement, according to TimesLive.
Duncan said they would not respond to any allegations about safety until the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate investigated the circumstances of the accident.
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