#LilyMine: Specialised equipment flown in overnight

The equipment can help to break through a rock blocking the container where the miners are trapped.

Aerial view of the portion Lily Mine which collapsed on 5 February 2016. Picture: Barberton Times.

JOHANNESBURG - New specialised equipment has been flown in overnight to the Lily Gold Mine in Barberton to help rescue workers try and reach three workers who have been trapped underground since last Friday.

The mine is owned by Vantage Goldfields Limited.

Pretty Nkambule, Slomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi are stuck in a container which fell inside a hole when the earth caved in exactly a week ago.

The mine says a pillar collapsed on the fourth level of the mine, burying the container under thousands of tonnes of rock and debris.

The specialised equipment can help rescue teams safely get through a 10 metre rock blocking the container.

WATCH: Family of trapped miner: it's all in God's hands.

This rock is believed to be one of the last obstacles preventing the rescuers from reaching the lamp room.

Vantage Goldfields' CEO Michael McChesney says the rescue is a delicate operation and the collapse is a tragedy.

Yesterday mine management told families they're optimistic they will reach the container within the next few hours.


The husband of one of the women trapped inside a metal container has told Eyewitness News he feels distressed by the rescue operation because it's been underway for seven days without success.

Pretty and her husband December Mazibuko have four children, the youngest of whom is eight months old.

Mazibuko held his head and prayed for a miracle with pastors at a church service yesterday.

WATCH: #LilyMine day 6: Keeping hope alive

He says he was encouraged by audio signals sent from the container on Tuesday, but the silence since then has raised serious concern.

"As I've said before, I am not overly happy because all these reports we're receiving are not comforting. We are hurting, but we have hope that things will get better. Church people are here comforting us and helping us to keep our hope alive."

He says he's told his children what's happened to their mother.

"The kids are well and healthy, but I am concerned about the one who is eight months old. Other than that everything is okay."

Mazibuko has been staying at the mine since the accident happened and says he hopes the ordeal will come to an end soon.