A 21,000ft tunnel - Africa's longest - was completed at Loraine Gold Mine, Welkom, South Africa, June 9, six months ahead of schedule.
AERIAL V..Loraine Mine area.
SV PAN..up rig at Loraine Mine.
SV INT..Miners drilling for final blasting.
CU Drill drilling.
CU Miner looks on.
SV Dynamite is put into holes.
TV Miners leave shaft.
CU Sign 'Blasting point'.
GV Flamingoes take off after blast, over mine.
CU Sign "No. 2. Shaft".
GV Shaft headgear No. 2.
CU Sign Loraine Shaft No. 3".
GV Showing distance between the two shafts.
SV Shaft headgear No. 3.
LV Loraine Shaft No. 3.
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Background: A 21,000ft tunnel - Africa's longest - was completed at Loraine Gold Mine, Welkom, South Africa, June 9, six months ahead of schedule. As dynamite blew away the last few feet of rock to link tunnels 2 and 3, more than a mile below the surface, dangerous nitrous fumes were released and 60 men who were watching the "holing through" were placed under medical observation. Our cameraman was also overcome and had to be brought to the surface for hospital treatment.
Twenty other journalists were advised to go straight to bed for 24 hours. Miners and mine officials were placed under the same order.
The 4-mile tunnel was started in September 1958, and the linking of the two tunnels represents the physical side of a merger formulated two years ago between Loraine and Riebeek gold mines. The nearest comparable tunnel is in Natal and is 19,760 feet in length.