Impala Platinum Mine accident death toll rises to 12

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The Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg in the North West says another miner has died following the elevator accident, bringing the total to 12. Some families of the other 11 mineworkers who died in the accident have identified their loved ones at a funeral parlour in Majakaneng near Brits.

The miners died after a winding rope connected to a cage lift in the mine shaft broke.  According to the mine, a total of 86 employees were involved in the accident.

75 were hospitalised, 13 of them are still in a critical condition.

Concerned family members were desperate for answers about their loved ones after the fatal accident on Monday.

“We have not received any clue as to what is happening. We do not know whether he is dead or not. We been looking for their numbers to check what is happening because we do not know,” says family member.

Others had the difficult task of identifying their loved ones. Grief stricken; they were reluctant to speak to the media.

Impala Platinum has committed to assist the bereaved families.

“The company has additional measures such as employing family members in place of member that we have lost, such as financial provision for studies of dependents or children. This whole range of measures that we are taking additions to the statue obligations,” says Chief Executive Officer Nico Muller.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa says the mine must dig deep to support these families.

“We are saying to Impala, let the salary of a worker who perished be paid to the widow or to the family up to pensionable age. Two, if that family does not have any roof on top of their head, let the mine build proper houses. If Amcu has built houses for the Marikana massacre victims, what is it for this mine making billions, I mean in the mineral endowment of this country.”

Among the 12 deceased are Lesotho nationals, as well as miners from the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the North West.

Mining Analyst, Peter Major explains the accident: