SALISBURY, Rhodesia -- An underground explosion at the Wankie coal mine near Victoria Falls trapped 468 miners today and the death toll was feared to be high.
Hospital sources reported that some of the miners had managed to escape from one of the several entrances to the No. 2 colliery where the blast occurred at 10 a.m. (4 a.m. eat).
A spokesman for the mine owners, Anglo-American Corp., said that there was "no further news" on the fate of the miners -- 435 black Africans and 33 whites -- working a full shift in the mine when the blast occurred.
A spokesman for the Wankie colliery company also said it had no reports on deaths but mine sources said they believed the toll would be high.
Wankie is 350 miles west of Salisbury. It is Rhodesia's major coal supplier and adjoins the Wankie game reserve near the Victoria Falls.