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Slide 03

South Africa – Huge Mine Explosion Injures 3, Damages Over 200 Properties

welkom blastGold producer Harmony Gold says that it is investigating the cause of an explosion at its Brand One Ventilation mine in Welkom in the Free State on Saturday.

Falling debris from the explosion damaged about 200 homes and several buildings in the vicinity of the mine, News24 reported.

The incident occurred at about 17.30 on Saturday afternoon as contractors were bulldozing rubble into a disused mine shaft. The bulldozing was part of the rehabilitation work being done at the mine.

News24 reported that residents in Virginia, Sasolburg and Parys felt the explosion shockwave, with some people in Welkom claiming to have seen manhole covers shoot into the air. The explosion caused mostly structural damage to the nearby houses, causes windows to shatter, some outside walls to collapse and ceilings to fall.

Harmony Gold confirmed that three workers sustained minor injuries in the explosion.

The Matjhabeng Municipality has already set up a disaster management centre to assist people who were most affected by the falling debris from the explosion. Harmony Gold has also set up a help line for affected residents.

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