#LilyMine: Conditions deteriorating, workers remain trapped

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi & Solomon Nyerende have been stuck in a lamp room for a week now.

A mine shaft collapsed, trapping miners at the Lily Mine near Barberton in Mpumalanga on 5 February 2015. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

BARBERTON - Managers of Lily Mine in Mpumalanga, where three workers have been trapped underground, say conditions are deteriorating.

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende have been stuck in a metal container, which dropped nearly 80 metres after a pillar collapsed on Friday last week.

Lily Mine Manager Mike Begg says some members of the rescue team have been working for 24 hours without rest.

"We've just had a couple of 24 hour shifts. We're coming to the weekend and the weekend is a psychological thing for people as well, so we want to give them a roll up."

He says because the mine's ventilation system is offline, the conditions underground are difficult to work in.

"There are no fans, like we usually have underground. So we're sort of working on natural ventilation that runs through the mine."

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He says the heavy machinery is also taking strain.

The rescue operation has now been underway for seven full days and the team has not yet removed the hard rock blocking access to the container.

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