15 July 2018 Read: 5823
A fire which started at the underground Conveyer 5 of the Palabora Mining Company (PMC) this morning has so far claimed the life of one employee. According to a source on the mine, when the workers arrived on shift this morning at 06:00 they were told not to go underground but report to their manager’s office.
There they were informed that four of their colleagues were trapped by dense smoke underground and a rescue team was going into the shaft to extract them. “Two of the guys were at North Outer Refuge Bay, one was at Crosscut 20 and the fourth one was at an electrical workshop in sector 4,” our source revealed.
Conveyor 5 runs approximately three kilometres from CV26 to the surface. There are two shafts namely Mary Anne (the smaller of the two) and Main Cage.
The latest update received is that the conditions are too hot and there is too much smoke for the Rescue team to access the refuge bay at sacrificial 3. Therefore they are seeking alternative routes to reach the site of the fire.
The first rescue team has exited the shaft and the second team has gone down to continue the rescue operation. At this stage it is not certain whether the deceased has been extracted from the shaft.
PMC are still refusing to comment or give updates to confirm any of the reports. Their communications liaison, Lydia Radebe has said she will issue a press statement.
More to follow as the drama unfolds.