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Third collapse at Lily Mine

There has been a third collapse at the Lily Mine near Barberton.

FILE: Sinkhole at the Lily Mine in Barberton. Picture: Vantage Goldfield.

BARBERTON - There has been a third collapse at the Lily Mine near Barbeton.

Three workers,Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi, remain trapped in a container underground for the ninth day now.

Yesterday, the rescue mission was temporarily called off after a second collapse occurred, which was caused by the team getting closer to the container.

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.

Management at the Lily Mine say - an assessment of the ground above the metal container - will be conducted over the next two days.

LISTEN: Mathunjwa calls for Lily Mine accident to be declared national disaster.

Association of Metalworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa said they've roped in an international geological company to assist with the rescue mission of three workers at the Lily Mine near Barberton with a team flying in today.

Mathunjwa said the US company will assess whether it's safe to go back underground.

"They sent the team last night and they will be driving to Barberton to do the assessment because some of the pillars have cracked."

He added that yesterday was a grim day after having to suspend the mission.

"It was devastating and a huge setback to pronounce that the operation has been temporarily suspended."