By Neelam Rahim
Three bodies have been found buried under mud – after a dam wall burst in Jagersfontein.
Forty people – including a pregnant woman – have since been taken to hospital after sustaining injuries, while four are confirmed to be missing.
Two people were initially reported as missing, with dozens more rushed to hospital after the mining dam burst its banks in the Free State town earlier on Sunday – flooding parts of the city.
Residents were evacuated, with reports of homes collapsing near the Charlesville area.
“The town has been separated by the mud; therefore, the two communities you cannot access them. There are many people who have been admitted to hospital,” said speaker for the Kopanong Municipality – Jerry Moitse.
Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela is predicted to arrive at the disaster-stricken mining town on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, electricity connections are affected within the area.
Eskom says it’s lost bulk electricity supply to Jagersfontein town and township.
Electricity poles are down, and the substation has been damaged. And also, the power utility says it’s unable to estimate when supply will be restored.
The department of mineral resources and Energy said it dispatched experts to analyze the cause of the dam burst.
“The Department of mineral resources and Energy has noted concernedly the unfolding incident in Jagersfontein within the Free State and further information thereof will be communicated following investigations, “said the department’s Nathi Shabangu.