50 bodies found in mine disaster

South Africa yesterday recorded its worst mining disaster this year after rescue workers brought to the surface the bodies of 50 miners killed when methane gas exploded in a coal mine, Reuter reports from Secunda.

Three men were still missing but there was little hope of finding them alive 28 hours after the accident at Middelbult mine in Secunda, 80 miles east of Johannesburg.

'One had hoped against hope that there might still be a prospect to find survivors, but now there is a remote chance that the last three people are still alive,' a mine official said.

Between 600 and 900 miners, almost all black, are killed and 15,000 badly injured every year in South African mines. The National Union of Mineworkers said 166 people had been killed and 2,000 injured in mine accidents so far this year.

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