Saturday, 07 December 2019 12:00

Four miners trapped underground after a tremor caused a rockfall at a mine in Orkney and they are feared to have been cut off from oxygen.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have confirmed that five workers were trapped after a rockfall, but one was rescued shortly after the incident and rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

The rescue team "now estimates that it will take three or four days to rescue the four mineworkers because of the massive rocks that continue to fall underground," said the NUM's statement.

Four workers died after being trapped in a shaft at the same mine as the result of a seismic incident in the town on 22 July. The bodies were subsequently recovered.

Up until 23 September 2019, there were already 35 fatalities in South Africa’s mining industry, according to data compiled by the Minerals Council. This was a decrease from previous years, though the mining industry has also been contracting and shedding jobs.