About 3,000 South African miners trapped after an accident were awaiting rescue Wednesday after waiting hours deep underground. It was expected to take a day to bring them to safety.
A burst water pipe was believed to have caused a shaft to collapse in the gold mine near Johannesburg, union officials said.
An official with Harmony Gold's Elandsrand Mine said the company would be able to evacuate the trapped workers over the next 24 hours.
Harmony's acting chief executive, Graham Briggs, said on MSNBC that officials have been in contact with the trapped workers and have been sending them food and water.
He said the company could evacuate the miners over the next day using a smaller cage in another shaft, but the process would be slow.