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'Impala Platinum Mine ignored signs of underground fire'

On Friday, a fire broke out in one of the shafts, claiming the lives of four workers.

Impala Platinum’s Marula mine in Limpopo. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has accused Impala Platinum Mine of ignoring signs of an underground fire, which claimed the lives of four of its workers at its Rustenburg mine.

The union has called for stricter safety measures at mines, but says because it's not the majority union at Impala its grievances are falling on deaf ears.

Impala Platinum's Johan Theron says the mine was evacuated but the four men didn't make it to the surface alive.

The fire broke out in one of the shafts on Friday and the miners died due to smoke inhalation.

The NUM's Health and Safety Secretary Eric Gcilitshana says, "They knew that this fire was detected, but they undermined it and they undermined the lives of the workers. Whoever was involved in the process of undermining these workers must be brought to account for what they've done."