According to the mine operator, the lift disaster occurred as workers were finishing their shift and heading down a shaft.
The operator of the mine reports that eleven people at a platinum mine in South Africa have died and seventy-five more have been injured when a lift used to return the workers to the surface fell around 200 meters (656 feet).
The “serious accident” occurred on Monday in the late afternoon at Impala Platinum’s mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, while workers were finishing their shift and exiting one of the shafts.
Impala Platinum’s (Implats) CEO, Nico Muller, stated in a statement on Tuesday, “Our hearts are heavy for the lives lost and the individuals affected by this devastating accident.” “We are in the process of ensuring that all next of kin have been contacted. We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our colleagues.”
According to the firm, 75 employees suffered injuries; they were treated and admitted to nearby hospitals.
A representative for Implats, Johan Theron, told the AFP news agency that while some people were badly hurt, the majority just had minor wounds on their ankles and legs.
As the lift hauling workers “unexpectedly started descending,” the disaster occurred on Monday just before 5 p.m. (15:00 GMT), according to the business. According to a statement, “the conveyance counterweight becoming trapped by the jack catches stopped its rapid descent.”
The world’s largest producer of platinum is South Africa.
In 2022, there were 49 mining-related deaths nationwide, down from 74 the previous year. According to South African official statistics, the number of people who died in mining accidents in that country has consistently declined over the past 20 years, from close to 300 in 2000.