Top 3 worst South Africa mining company disasters

There are numbers of major mining company disasters. Here we are at Top 3 worst South Africa mining company disasters. Accidents are a painful event. In the history of mining companies in South Africa, there are several mining company accidents that cost many lives. We sort Top 3 worst South Africa mining company disasters. As can be seen below, some of the names of mining companies are still operating now and they certainly learn from it too. Now, the safety standard of the mining company’s operations is increasingly better day by day. The point is of course to prevent the occurrence of work accidents in mining companies either causing death or just injuries.

Here’s a list of Top 3 worst South Africa mining company disasters.

1. Coalbrook mining company disasters

The worst South Africa mining company disasters occurred in the Coalbrook coal mine of Clydesdale Colliery. Coalbrook North colliery was one of the underground collieries of Clydesdale (Transvaal) Collieries Limited. The location exactly near Sasolburgin the Orange Free State. The disasters happened on 21 January 1960 at around 19:00. Happened when the cave in occurred about 180 metres underground. About 1 000 miners on the whole, were in the mine at the time. Overall around 437 died after being trapped the rest escaped from an incline shaft. Immediately after the incident, rescue teams arrived. The teams from other mines in the region and boreholes were drilled into areas where survivors were expected to be. But then there were no survivors. Finally, the rescue operation end after 11 days .

The accident was caused by cascading pillar failure(CPF) where a few pillars fail initially and this increases the load on the adjacent pillars causing them to fail. After this cascading failure then the pillar collapse over an area covering 324 hectares on the whole.

Factors contributing to the collapse were the process of top coaling which raised the height of the tunnels and pillar and panel mining reducing the size of structures holding up the tunnel roof.

2. Kinross mining company disasters

On 16 September 1986, 177 mineworkers were missing at Kinross Mine in one of South Africa’s worst mine disasters. The accident was caused by an acetylene tank sparked flames. Then the flames swept through the mining tunnel igniting plastic covering on the wiring in the same way. The flames also set fire to polyurethane foam that is use to keep walls in the mine dry. The burning plastic combined with polyurethane and churned toxic fumes that filled the shafts, choking miners to death.

South Africa mining company disasters in Kinross mining
Kinross disasters monument. One of worst South Africa mining company disasters

Apart from the 177 mine workers killed, overall 235 were injured. The Kinross mine disaster is one of the worst South Africa mining company disasters in South African history.

3. Vaal Reefs mining company disasters

May 10, 1995 is a date that will everlastingly be carved in the psyches of groups of the 104 mineworkers who lost their lives in the Vaal Reefs mining company disasters, and of their partners and for the most part of business overall.

This mining company disasters happened at Vaal Reefs’ #2 Shaft close Orkney in North West territory. Happened when an underground train slammed through a hindrance into the pole at a level of 1,700 meters underneath surface. Falling on to a movement that was transporting 104 diggers underground. The effect made the movement dive to the base of the pole, 2,300 meters underneath surface.

Against this catastrophe, Anglo American Corporation, Vaal Reefs Exploration and Mining and the National Union of Mineworkers made the Vaal Reefs Disaster Trust with the essential goal of giving money related help and support. There are in total around 431 dependants of workers who passed away as shown above because of this tragedy.

This accidents is one of the worst South Africa mining company disasters.


In the first place, lets pray to the victims and do our best to maintain the job site and workplace a safe place for everyone. Furthermore, do not let safety out from our mind even for just one minute. Ordinarily, It could lead to bad accidents for you and your colleague. Report to your supervisor and safety personnel if you find any issue in your workplace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *