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South Africa: Eight miners die in fire

on February 06, 2014 10:00 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Eight gold miners in South Africa died after a magnitude-2.4 earthquake triggered an underground fire, and rescue teams operating deep below the surface were searching for a ninth missing miner, a mining company said today.

Smoke and a rockfall had hampered searchers struggling to find any survivors after fire broke out one mile underground at the Doornkop mine around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Harmony company said in a statement.

On Wednesday morning, rescue teams located eight other miners who had sought refuge from the fire and brought all of them to the surface within several hours. Harmony this morning announced the discovery of eight bodies.

The National Union of Mineworkers, a major labor group, said the rockfall had ruptured electrical cables, triggering the fire, and that water and ventilation pipes were also damaged.

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