11 reportedly killed, as Rustenburg mine elevator plunges in South Africa


SOUTH AFRICA – Winding gear at a giant South African platinum mine failed sending an elevator into a precipitous fall that killed 11 workers and injured 75, the operators said Tuesday.

According to Africanews, Impala Platinum said 14 of the injured workers remained in “critical condition” after the disaster on Monday as the elevator brought the miners up after the end of their shift.

All operations at the Rustenburg mine, northwest of Johannesburg, had been suspended while an investigation was started, company Chief Executive, Nico Muller, said in a statement.

Muller said the “devastating accident” at the mine was “the darkest day in the history” of the company, which was known as Implats.

There were 86 employees in the three-level lift when it “unexpectedly reversed direction and began descending back down through the shaft,” Implats said in the statement.

South Africa has the world’s deepest mines and many have lifts that can carry more than 100 people at a time.

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