NUMSA message on the Lily mine disaster

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa sends a message of hope to the families, friends and fellow workers of Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi, who remain trapped in the container in which they were working, which was buried at the Lily Mine near Barberton after it fell into a sinkhole nine days ago.
The union also sends best wishes to the workers who have been rescued for a full and speedy recovery from their injuries.
Numsa thanks all the rescue workers who have risked their lives to try to reach the trapped workers. It is of great concern however that rescue attempts have had to be temporarily called off because a large concrete structure at the entrance of the mine tunnel and soil from a hill next to the sinkhole broke off and fell into the same hole where the container is stuck.
Numsa calls for the fullest possible, independent inquiry into this tragedy to establish the cause of the collapse of the ground under the container, and general health and safety conditions at the mine, and to identify any evidence of negligence. Underground mining has always been a hazardous occupation but it cannot be acceptable for the same dangers to face workers on the surface.
For further comment please phone Irvin Jim, General Secretary, on 073 157 6384