Twelve black miners have survived a 50-hour ordeal underground in a South African mining tragedy.?
SV: Black mine workers coming out of shaft.
SV: White workers coming out of shaft. (2 SHOTS)
SV: More black workers coming out of shaft lift. (2 SHOTS)
SV: Victims being carried out on stretchers. (5 SHOTS)
SCU PAN: Injured lying on ground, covered with blankets.
SV: Injured being stretchered into ambulance. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: Twelve black miners have survived a 50-hour ordeal underground in a South African mining tragedy. An earth tremor in the Transvaal last Wednesday (26 April) caused a rockfall at the Buffelsfontein goldmine, 90 miles (150 kilometres) southwest of Johannesburg, trapping miners working 8,000 feet (2,500 metres) underground.
SYNOPSIS: The authorities knew there were at least 23 black miners working at the goldmine's 28th level when the rockfall occurred. Elsewhere in the mine, four white miners had been killed instantly during the earth tremor and a fifth had died soon afterwards in hospital. Rescue teams spent two days drilling through rock to make contact with their entombed workmates.
After resorting to using their bare hands to make a gap in the rubble, the rescuers found 12 survivors (28 April). They were able to bring the men safely through the narrow hole and up to the surface where doctors found the 12 were in a shocked but satisfactory condition. Seven bodies were also brought up the shaft, four of them having been found with the surviving group.
Another four black miners were still known to be missing but the mine authorities held out little hope of discovering them alive.