Local residents watched in anguish as rescue workers tried to retrieve bodies from the mine

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe visited the Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) mine on Tuesday, where a fatal accident claimed the lives of at least 11 people and left 75 others injured, to assure the citizens that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the incident.

The accident occurred on Monday afternoon when miners were being lifted up from an underground platinum mine. However, the elevator suddenly dropped from 650 feet, resulting in the death and injuries of the workers.

"We have 11 people dead. We are mourning them [and] we are sympathizing with their families. Impala has committed to working with the families and work with the department. I am sitting with the chief inspector of mines," Mantashe said, SA News reported.

The minister pointed out that it will be the chief inspector of mines' responsibility to lead the investigation, stressing that it was a "sad incident" and the government wanted to make this industry "Zero Harm."

Mantashe recalled that last year, the number of deaths was reduced to 49, which marked the lowest in the history of South Africa. Following this incident, the government will investigate and ensure the health and safety of the mines are improved.

"People must go to work and come back alive," he said. "There's going to be an investigation. It will be followed by an inquiry. This is a serious matter. Eleven people are dead so you don't just throw around information loosely."

The minister warned people to stay away from speculations and let the officials conduct a proper investigation before reaching a conclusion.

"Allow the formal processes to take their course. Follow them through; put your evidence, cross-examine the evidence and get to the depth of the issues," he explained.

CEO of Implats, Nico Muller, also spoke about the tragic incident, calling it the "darkest day in the history of Implats."

"Our hearts are heavy for the lives lost and the individuals affected by this devastating accident. We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our colleagues and are in the process of ensuring all next of kin have been contacted."

Muller disclosed that the company was offering ongoing support to the families and colleagues of those miners, who lost their life on duty. "We also hold our injured colleagues in our thoughts at this incredibly difficult time," Muller added.

The CEO also praised the local medical services from the Bojanala District and the Impala Medical Services team who provided necessary emergency paramedic services during this crisis and secured additional ICU beds and ambulances alongside mobilizing additional general surgeons.