Johannesburg, Nov 28 (EFE).- An accident at a platinum mine in South Africa has killed 11 workers and injured 75 when an elevator carrying them to the surface dropped suddenly, the operator said on Tuesday.
The accident occurred on Monday evening at the mine owned by Impala Platinum in the northern city of Rustenburg, South Africa – the world’s largest producer of platinum.
“Impala Platinum is devastated to report that 11 employees tragically lost their lives in the serious accident at Impala Rustenburg’s 11 Shaft yesterday (Monday) afternoon,” the mine operator said in a press statement.
Seventy-five employees were injured and have been admitted to four hospitals in the region, the statement said, adding that the rescue operation was complete.
The accident occurred towards the end of the workers’ shift when the shaft was transporting them to the surface.
The elevator suddenly dropped before stopping when its counterweight was trapped by the jack catches, the company said.
The mine operator said all emergency protocols were observed, and paramedics and search and rescue teams immediately mobilized. “Investigations into the cause of the incident have commenced.”
“This is the darkest day in the history of Implats (as the company is also known) and our hearts are heavy by the lives lost and the individuals affected by this devastating accident,” CEO Nico Muller said.
“Implats is offering ongoing support to the families and colleagues of those lost in service,” Muller said.
All operations were suspended on Tuesday at the mine. EFE