Eight bodies of miners have been found at Harmony Gold’s Doornkop mine where a fire broke out on Tuesday, 4 February 2014.

“The fire was reported in a stope adjacent to 192 level haulage (some 1 733m underground) around 18:00, following a seismic event that triggered a fall of ground. Rescue teams were immediately dispatched underground, but access to the affected area was hampered by smoke and a fall of ground,” Harmony Gold said in a statement.

A further eight employees have been rescued unharmed from an underground refuge chamber, but the search still continues for a ninth employee who remains unaccounted for.

“Harmony’s CEO Graham Briggs, the board and management extend their condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the men who died,” the statement said.