South Africa gold miners die after earthquake strikes

Four miners have died after an earthquake caused a cave-in at a South African gold mine.

The miners were among 10 rescued from Sibanye-Stillwater's Masakhane mine, west of Johannesburg, after the incident on Thursday.

Three miners remain trapped, two of whom are still unaccounted for, the company said.

South Africa is a leading gold producer, but the industry has often been accused of a poor safety record.

This is the second large-scale incident at mines controlled by Sibanye-Stillwater in recent months.

Back in February, 955 miners became trapped underground for more than 24 hours after a storm knocked out the power, and the back-up generators failed to work.

On that occasion, no-one died. But not long afterwards, two of the company's employees were killed at a different mine, news agency AFP reports.

This latest incident took place after "the epicentre [of the quake struck] very close to where the miners were working," Sibanye-Stillwater spokesman James Wellsted told AFP.

South Africa's largest trade union, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), has criticised the company, saying in a statement it was "alarmed by the deteriorating and poor safety record of Sibanye-Stillwater"


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