/ 29 April 2008

Four miners killed in two accidents at Goldfields

Gold Fields (GFI) said on Tuesday that four miners had been killed in two separate underground accidents at its Driefontein and South Deep gold mines on the West Rand.

It said three employees at Driefontein had lost their lives as a result of a fall of ground in a stope 1 900m below the surface at number 10 shaft. Two others were injured, one of them seriously, and were taken to hospital for treatment.

The accident occurred at 8.17am on Tuesday morning, following a 1,7 seismic event.

In a separate accident a driller’s assistant was fatally injured in a fall of ground at the South Deep mine. The accident happened at 10.30am at a development site on level 100 of the mine -‒ 2 700m below the surface of the Twin Shaft complex.

“Investigations into both accidents will be carried out by the respective mine management teams as well as the Department of Minerals and Energy. The trade unions were also informed,” Gold Fields said in a statement.

The names of the victims were being withheld until their next of kin had been informed, it said.

Vishnu Pillay, head of Gold Fields’s South African operations, said: “We deeply regret the loss of lives of our colleagues. These accidents have occurred despite considerable efforts to improve management of safety at our operations. We remain committed to our quest of achieving zero harm at all our operations. Safety is still our number one priority.” ‒ I-Net Bridge