Eight workers rescued, nine still missing after fire at Harmony’s Doornkop mine

South African emergency workers continue their efforts Wednesday evening to rescue nine miners still missing deep underground in the burning Harmony Gold’s (NYSE:HMY) Doornkop mine, west of Johannesburg.

Nine of the 17 workers initially trapped after a fall-of-ground accident at the mine and subsequent fire late Tuesday, have already been rescued, the company said.

"All the focus right now is on trying to locate the missing men," Harmony Gold said in the statement, adding that while underground fire has been subdued, conditions underground remain challenging due to smoke and small landslides.

BBC's correspondent in Johannesburg, Andrew Harding, says the missing miners are supposed to be carrying their own packs of oxygen, so Harmony Gold hopes they will have made their way to other refuge bays underground and successfully rescued.