Four workers have died at Tau Lekoa gold mine in Orkney, north-west South Africa, as the result of a seismic incident in the town.  

The miners were trapped underground at a shaft when the incident happened on 22 July and rescuers have since recovered the bodies. 

The workers have been identified as coming from Kuruman in the north-west, Sterkspruit in Eastern Cape, and Lesotho in the country's southern area. 

"Cosatu and National Union of Mineworkers leadership have been observing efforts by the rescue team to recover bodies." 

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) was quoted by African News Agency as saying: "Cosatu and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) leadership have been observing efforts by the rescue team to recover bodies."

Responding to the incident, the National Union of Mineworkers health and safety secretary Erick Gcilitshana said: "This accident, like any other mining accidents, could have been prevented. We are told that recommendations were presented by rock engineers to the mine on how to mine safely. 

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"We want to call upon the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to fully investigate this unfortunate accident."

According to media sources, Orkney was previously hit by an earthquake in 2014, leading to the death of one person, while more than 30 miners were injured.