World

South African mine elevator crash leaves 11 dead and 75 hurt

The deaths took place at Impala platinum mine (Implats via AP)
The deaths took place at Impala platinum mine (Implats via AP) The deaths took place at Impala platinum mine (Implats via AP)

An elevator suddenly dropped around 200 metres (650ft) while carrying workers to the surface in a platinum mine in South Africa, killing 11 and injuring 75, the mine operator said.

It happened on Monday evening at the end of the workers’ shift at a mine in the northern city of Rustenburg. The injured workers were taken to hospital.

Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) CEO Nico Muller said in a statement it was “the darkest day in the history of Implats”.

The company said an investigation has begun into what caused the elevator to drop and the mine suspended all operations on Tuesday.

CORRECTION South Africa Mine Deaths
CORRECTION South Africa Mine Deaths An elevator suddenly dropped around 200m at the mine (Implats via AP)

All 86 mine workers killed or injured were in the elevator, Implats spokesperson Johan Theron said. Some of the injured had “serious compact fractures”.

Mr Theron said the elevator dropped approximately 200 metres down the shaft in what he said was a highly unusual accident.

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum.

The country had 49 fatalities from all mining accidents in 2022, a decrease from 74 the year before.

Deaths from South African mining accidents have steadily decreased in the last two decades from nearly 300 in the year 2000, according to South African government figures.