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  Thursday, September 19, 2019
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All 3,200 workers, trapped in Elandsrand mine, are now safe
All 3,200 workers, trapped in Elandsrand mine, are now safe, the mine's owners, Harmony, said on their Web site Friday. "The rescue operation ended at 8.30 p.m. local time (6.30 p.m. GMT) on 4 October 2007 and all the workers are safe and in good health," the site said. Miners working at the Elandsrand Gold Mine, 80km (50 miles) west of Johannesburg were trapped 2.2km (1.4 miles) underground on Wednesday after a pressurized air pipe exploded and crashed into a shaft, cutting off electricity to the main elevator. The personnel were brought to the surface Thursday night using a reserve elevator in another shaft, with a passenger capacity of 75, which was earlier used to remove debris. The company had expected the rescue to take 10 hours, but it took twice that long. Despite the long period without food and water only one person suffered from dehydration. "We are extremely thankful that there were no injuries and that everyone is back on surface," the company's acting CEO Graham Briggs said after the last person was brought to the surface. "The mine team did a great job." The company announced that on October 5 it would launch a comprehensive investigation into the accident and evaluate the damage to the shaft. The mine will be closed for at least three weeks for repair works.
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