NEWS
02/02/2018 06:29 SAST | Updated 02/02/2018 06:58 SAST

Update: All Trapped Mine Workers Rescued From Sibanye-Stillwater Mine

Nearly 1,000 mine workers were trapped underground when a storm cut off power in the Free State.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

UPDATE: All 955 mine workers trapped underground at Sibanye-Stillwater's Beatrix mine have been safely brought to the surface, according to multiple reports.

Original story:
An electricity outage trapped nearly 1,000 workers underground on Wednesday.

James Wellsted of Sibanye-Stillwater reportedly said the first hoist has come up and the first batch of workers has been brought to the surface.

"And we'll continue to bring people up over the course of the next hour or so," he reportedly said, according to an EWN report early on Friday morning.

Wellsted reportedly said that all the mine workers were accounted for and safe on Thursday afternoon and generators had been brought in to assist with the power outage.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa reportedly said that the union viewed the incident as "extreme" and said it was "common cause" that lives were already threatened owing to dehydration and blood sugar problems due to a lack of nutrition.

"It is also quite common for adults to be on chronic medication, and it is highly probable that there are some workers who are trapped without access to their medicine," he said, according to News24.

The outage was caused by a severe storm, SowetanLive reported. The storm reportedly damaged power lines and trapped workers working the night shift on three separate shafts. Water and food were sent down to the mine workers.