S. Africa: Some 3,000 gold miners trapped a mile underground
CARLETONVILLE, South Africa (AP) - Some 3,000 gold miners were trapped a mile underground Wednesday when falling pipe damaged the elevator, but the company began rescuing workers through a smaller shaft and estimated it would take 10 hours to get them all out.
There were no injuries and there was no immediate danger to any of the workers in Harmony Gold Mining Co.'s Elandsrand Mine, company and union officials said.
Peter Bailey, health and safety chairman for the National Mineworkers Union, said the first 74 men reached the surface shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday. "They are all doing well," he said.
The miners were trapped at a level slightly more than a mile underground when a column of water pipes fell down an elevator shaft causing extensive damage to the steel framework and electrical cables. Miners had to be evacuated with a smaller cage in another shaft....