New victims in the Gloria mine case

07 February 2019 - Gloria coal mine in MpumalangaPHOTO: THULANI MBELE

We reported about illegal miners who were locked inside the notorious Gloria shaft in previous articles

Today the death of another eight participants of the Gloria mine explosion case has been confirmed.

The methane gas explosion resulted in a mine rock collapse, leaving a group of 22 people locked inside last week. They were Lesotho nationals who went underground in an attempt to steal copper cables on Monday, February 4.

Immediately after the explosion, the rescue operation was organized that, however, was suspended for a week because of a toxic gas leakage inside the mine.

The emergency personnel tried to resume the rescue procedure yesterday, but it has been stopped  because of the great danger to the rescue team.

“The air circulation needed to be restored to make the shaft safe for entry,” mine employees said.

“Emergency personel will not risk their own lives for the rescue,” they also added.

The management of the enterprise was blamed for the accident by the mine workers. If the mine functioned, no one would need to steal the cable.

Journalists managed to talk with some people who claimed to be the mine workers. They said that they were in financial distress and “were struggling to make ends meet because they [mine management] had not been paid their salaries for four months.”

The mine called Gloria is supposedly controlled by the notorious Gupta family and turns out to be a part of the Optimum Coal. The Gupta family invested their funds to support the enterprise last year.

The former mine management failed to maintain the economic efficiency of production and mining. The management could not pay salaries to miners, and the Gloria mine had to be closed.

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