Five South African miners died in a fire that swept through a mine near Johannesburg in an accident that sparked union condemnation of Gold Fields, one of the world’s top gold producers.
Fourteen other miners were hospitalised in the incident which shut down operations at Gold Fields’ Kloof-Driefontein mine.
The National Union of Mineworkers said the miners died of smoke inhalation while working overtime.
“We strongly condemn the company for sending workers on overtime night shift when there is no ventilation,” said union general secretary Frans Baleni in a statement.
Last year, 123 miners died in South Africa with gold mines accounting for the largest share of fatalities, followed by platinum and coal.