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Gold Miners Mourn Crushed Mates

Sat., May 13, 1995

Their faces creased with anxiety, some weeping openly, scores of miners looked on Friday as rescue workers pulled the badly crushed remains of dozens of their colleagues from the bottom of a 1.5-mile-deep mine shaft where they died Wednesday night in one of this country’s worst mine disasters.

Pressing close together near the cordoned-off entrance to their pit, the idled gold mine workers of Shaft 5 groaned each time recovery teams, their members dressed in yellow slickers and face masks, carried off the tightly blanketed remains of the crushed victims on aluminum stretchers.

More than 100 workers of the Vaal Reefs mine, 112 miles southwest of Johannesburg, were believed to have been killed when an electric train inexplicably plunged into Shaft 2.

By late Friday afternoon, 74 bodies had been recovered, leaving at least 30 people unaccounted for.


 
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