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S.Africa gold miner killed in earthquake, five missing

A miner was killed and five others were missing underground after an earthquake hit a gold mine in a suburb of Johannesburg, the Sibanye-Stillwater company said Thursday.

Thirteen miners were initially trapped about three kilometres (two miles) below the surface but rescuers managed to get several out, company spokesman James Wellsted told AFP. One of the miners later died from his injuries.

“The epicentre (of the quake) was very close to where the miners were working,” Wellsted said.

Eight miners remain underground, the company said. Three have been located but five are missing.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the largest union in the country, said it was “alarmed by the deteriorating and poor safety record of Sibanye Stillwater mining company”.

In February, nearly 1,000 miners were trapped underground for 30 hours following a power cut caused by a storm in another mine owned by Sibanye-Stillwater.

A few days later, two miners were killed after ground collapsed at a mine also belonging to the group.

Mine accidents are common in South Africa. In 2016, 73 people died inside mines across the country, according to statistics from the Chamber of Mines. DM

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