JOHANNESBURG – The death toll following an underground fire at a Limpopo copper mine has climbed to six.
It’s believed the blaze broke out at Palaborwa Copper Mine on Sunday.
Efforts were hampered by extremely hot temperatures underground.
Palaborwa Copper has expressed its condolences to the victims’ families.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for an immediate and thorough investigation.
“We vehemently condemn this kind of incident as there is a high number of fatalities in the mining industry in South Africa this year,” NUM said.
Government on Sunday said an investigation will commence once the area is declared safe.”
In its statement, Palabora Copper said that “mine management, officials from the Department of Mineral Resources and organised labour are currently on the mine investigating the cause of the incident”.
The country has been rocked by several fatal accidents at its economically vital mines since the beginning of the year.
Five miners were killed following an incident at a gold mine operated by Sibanye Stillwater last month.
Earlier this year, 955 workers at another Sibanye gold mine were trapped underground for more than a day after a power outage caused by storm. They were rescued unharmed.
– Additional reporting ANA and AFP