Trapped miners finally reunited with their families

The workers were brought to the surface this morning having spent more than 30 hours underground due to a power failure.

Some of the rescued miners are transported by bus from the Sibanye-Stillwater’s Beatrix mine shaft 3 after being trapped underground for about 31 hours to hot showers, warm food and debriefing at the nearby shaft 1 facilities. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

WELKOM, Free State – Mineworkers who were trapped underground at the Beatrix mine in the Free State have finally been reunited with their families.

The workers were brought to the surface on Friday morning, having spent more than 30 hours underground due to a power failure.

Sibanye-Stillwater says that the workers were given food and water during their ordeal.

Family members of the trapped mineworkers have been allowed into the mine clinic where the workers are being examined.

An employee’s wife says that her husband just wants to go home now.

“He’s shocked because when I was just holding him, I could feel that he was trembling in a way. We didn’t speak with the other families, we just drove home.”

The mine’s James Wellsted says the workers have been given time to be with their families.

“We’re not going to resume operations tomorrow. We think that the employees need some time off with their families and obviously to get some rest and to get some counselling.”

Various organisations including the National Union of Mineworkers have condemned what they deem is a lack of safety precautions at the mine.