Platinum group metals miner Impala Platinum (Implats) has confirmed that another employee injured in a safety incident at its Impala Rustenburg Shaft 11 operation on November 27 died at the weekend – taking the death toll to 13.
Eleven employees were killed and 75 injured on November 27 when the personnel conveyance, also known as a lift or elevator, at 11 Shaft, unexpectedly descended at a rapid rate.
The lift came to a sudden stop at 20 level, about 180 m below 17 level close to the bottom of 11 Shaft, when the counterweight, which balances the conveyance system reached the top of the winding infrastructure on surface, and as designed, was caught in jack catches.
Implats explained at the time that this resulted in a sudden, almost instantaneous deceleration, the force of which severely impacted the 86 employees who were standing upright in the three levels of the lift at the time.
Another employee succumbed to his or her injuries on November 29.
As at December 4, 23 employees had been discharged from hospital, while another 50 remain in hospital – eight of whom are in critical care.
In collaboration with the families of affected employees, Implats has set aside December 6 as a day of remembrance for its employees.
“A memorial service will be held at Impala Rustenburg to allow for our employees to come together to honour the memory of our lost, injured and affected colleagues. In line with the wishes of the families involved, Implats will only release the names of our deceased colleagues on the day of the memorial service,” the company says.