South African government scientist are mystified over the cause of earth tremous in the town of Welkom on Wednesday (8 December) which caused widespread damage and claimed four lives.
GV: rescue workers sifting through debris of building.
GV PAN FROM: crowds to bulldozer moving debris.
GV AND SV: construction workers on building watched by police. (4 shots)
GV: car along road with mine on hill in background.
GV: mine in operation.
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Background: South African government scientist are mystified over the cause of earth tremous in the town of Welkom on Wednesday (8 December) which caused widespread damage and claimed four lives. The scientists in Pretoria said the two-minute series of temors could have been caused by a combination of mine collapse and a local geological fault.
A six-storey apartment building in the goldmining town 175 miles (280 kms) south of Pretoria, suffered most in the tremors. The building was virtually destroyed when it collapsed two hours after the tremors struck. Another seemed in imminent danger of collapse after its whole front wall had fallen away.
Miraculously all the occupants were evacuated in time. Dozens of workers were on hand to pull down dangerous parts of the building. It's expected the entire building will be demolished. Many other buildings developed long cracks in walls and ceilings. the tremor measured 4.5 on the Richter Scale. There are about nine major gold mines around the 130,000-population city comprising 100,000 blacks and 30,000 whites.
Rock falls were reported at a number of mines. Three miners were trapped in the President Brand Gold mine at Welcome, according to the Anglo American mining group.