MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Mr Vusi Shongwe, is currently on his way to the scene.

In the meantime, Begg explained to the media that a service ground pillar had collapsed, an area at the top of the mine where a building is situated.

It blocked the main portal and people couldn’t get out through the main entrance. It is suspected that the five people who are currently unaccounted for, were in this building. “That building as collapsed into the hole.”

“Until our rescue team arrives, they will be doing a proper rescue underground. We have sent some of our own staff underground to try and come in from behind that area to see whether there are any survivors from that building, who may have been able to crawl out and into one or two of the old tunnels,” he said.

He described it as a freak accident, saying that they are mining way below it and has done so for the past 10 years.


Mine Rescue Workers is en route to the scene to stabilise the huge sink hole that has formed. Mr Anton Strydom, a volunteer at Off-road Rescue Services, said that, by law, they may not offer assistance before it as been assessed and stabilised.

Begg has just confirmed on the scene that five mine workers are still not accounted for.


Between 60 and 70 of the miners are currently being taken to Barberton Hospital for observation and treatment, although no serious injuries have been reported.


Begg explained that the lamp room is the “last stop” before miners are being lowered down below. Here they receive lamps and safety packs.

People have gathered at the gates leading to the mine and are praying for the trapped miners’ safety.

Mr Mike Begg and a translator.

People gathered at the gate to the mine.


Mr Mike Begg, operations director of Lily Mine, has just spoken to reporter Anchen Coetzee at the scene, saying that they have contact with all miners trapped underground.

He said that the so-called lamp room has collapsed. “Those are the only people I’m afraid for,” he said. They are currently checking a list to see who of the miners had been scheduled to work in this lamp room.


People are being brought to the surface through ventilation shafts. About 15 miners have been brought to safety.

It is reportedly currently very unstable underground and rescue workers are waiting for officials of the mine’s rescue team to assess whether they can go in to assist trapped workers.

No deaths have been reported at this stage.


Paramedics and rescue workers are currently meeting to decide on a plan of action on how to assist those who have been injured and are still trapped.

At this stage, it seems as if it was a rock fall at the entrance to the mine and not a structural collapse.


LOW’S CREEK – Rescue workers and paramedics of various ambulance services are on their way to Lily Mine after a reported collapse. It is unclear at this stage whether it was a shaft that caved in, or a rock fall.

There are reportedly hundreds of injured mine workers on the scene with hundreds more apparently still trapped.

The gold mine is situated between Barberton and Kaapmuiden.

Updates will be posted as they become available.