Three mineworkers who were trapped underground at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg operations have been found dead. File image: TYRONE ARTHUR
Three mineworkers who were trapped underground at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg operations have been found dead. File image: TYRONE ARTHUR

Impala Platinum on Tuesday said three of the five missing mineworkers trapped underground after a mudslide at its Rustenburg operations have been found dead. The other two mineworkers were rescued. 

“The [search and rescue] teams reached the affected area midafternoon [on Monday]. It is with deep regret we report that the teams recovered the bodies of three of our employees,” Implats spokesperson Johan Theron said.

“Their families have been notified and are receiving counselling and support. Two of our employees were, however, successfully rescued from the area and transferred to hospital for treatment. They are both in a serious but stable condition,” Theron said.

Operations at the affected shaft remain suspended. 

Theron said the identities of the victims are not immediately being released as their next-of-kin are being informed.

The mine conveyed its condolences to the families and colleagues of the mineworkers. 

Implats said seven employees had been working at the bottom of a shaft when the area became inundated as a result of a mud rush on Sunday afternoon. Two had managed to get out with minor injuries.

The deaths of the three miners brings the toll to four at the mine in a week. The day before this incident, a contract employee was fatally injured during underground drilling operations at another shaft.

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