167 Trapped In South African Gold Mine

By  | 

(AP) Media say rescuers are trying to bring to the surface 167 gold mine workers trapped underground in northern South Africa for nearly 24 hours.

The workers - mainly maintenance staff - were trapped when lightning struck an electrical substation late Saturday and caused a complete power blackout.

The South African Press Association quotes mine spokesman James Duncan as saying the miners have access to water and medical assistance.

Duncan says electricity supplies have been re-established and the company is trying to connect the power to the underground winders and lifts.

If that doesn't work, the alternative is to use an emergency shaft, but that would entail a six- to seven-hour walk. Duncan told SAPA Sunday the workers are hungry, stressed and tired.

© MMIX The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.