Four gold miners trapped underground after an earthquake caused a rockfall in north-eastern South Africa were found dead on Sunday December 8th, and a fifth suffering from serious injuries was rescued on Friday, their union said, according to AFP.
The accident took place at the Tau Lekoa Mine in the north-western town of Orkney, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.
A union statement said that the rescue team had lost contact with the four men deep underground and early on Saturday "The four mineworkers were found dead,” AFP reported.
"The last person we talked to said, ‘We are suffocating please, bring us some oxygen,'" NUM President Joseph Montisetse said, according to alarabiya.net.
South Africa has the deepest mines in the world and deadly accidents involving miners are common.
Last year witnessed the death of 81 people in the country's mines, according to the country’s department of mineral resources.