All of the over 950 mineworkers, who were trapped at the Beatrix Sibanye mine near Theunissen in the Free State, have now been accounted for on the surface.

The operation to rescue hundreds of mineworkers trapped underground at Beatrix gold mine in Welkom, Free State, got a boost in the early hours of Friday when power was restored at Shaft 1 just after 3 am, as rescuers battled to save lives.

The miners went underground on Wednesday night but were unable to resurface after their shift because severe storms damaged power lines causing a massive power failure at Sibanye-Stillwater‘s Beatrix mine.

South Africa’s power utility Eskom has since then been trying to restore electricity at the mine.

Without an escape route or alternative source of power to operate elevators, more than 1000 workers were trapped underground.

Workers that came on duty and concerned community members camped outside the mine.

Just after 3 am a security official, who did not give his name, announced that power had been restored, saying that it was only a matter of time before the workers are rescued.

Late on Thursday, the mine said it had managed to bring about 300 workers to the surface using hoists powered by generators.

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