Miners trapped in Zimbabwean platinum mine, officials say

Story highlights

  • The miners are all expected to be out later Tuesday, the company says
  • A union official said a conveyer belt caught fire
  • The mine is in Zvishavane, about 400 km south of Harare

Workers trapped by a fire overnight in a platinum mine in southern Zimbabwe are being brought to the surface Tuesday, a statement from the mine's owners said.

"All employees have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported. The majority of the workforce was evacuated following the incident," said the statement from Implats and Aquarius Platinum Ltd.

"Initially 75 employees were accommodated in refuge bays due to low visibility. They are now in the process of being moved to surface. This is expected to be completed during the course of the afternoon."

Earlier reports said as many as 85 miners were trapped at the Mimosa mine in Zvishavane.

An official with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said the incident began Monday night after a bearing on a conveyer belt collapsed.

"The conveyer belt then caught fire. Some people have been rescued but some are still trapped underground. There are two ambulances with medical staff attending to those who have been brought to the ground," said the ZCTU official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

Mimosa mine officials could not be reached for comment.

The mine in Zvishavane, about 400 km (249 miles) south of Harare, is owned by South African mining giants Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum Ltd.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.