Harmony says 3,200 S African gold miners trapped

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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 3 (Reuters) Some 3,200 miners were trapped underground today at a South African mine belonging to the world's fifth biggest gold producer, the Harmony Gold company said.

Harmony spokeswoman Amelia Soares said the workers at the Elandsrand mine were trapped about 2,200 metres after an electrical cable of a lift carrying workers to the surface snapped at around 1330 hrs ISt today.

''They were underground when the accident happened and they were not able to surface because an electric feeder cable that is connected to the mine lift was severed,'' she said.

Soares said mine engineers were trying to retrieve the workers by lowering an adjacent lift to their position. She said the rescue operation could last well into Thursday morning, as it may only be possible to lift out a few hundred at a time. Production at Elandsrand had halted for the day and would remain so on tomorrow, she said.

REUTERS SBA AS0309

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