Harlem Shake miners fired over safety fears

Flash mob perform the Harlem Shake in Berlin (file photo) The Harlem Shake has taken the world by storm

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Up to 15 miners in Australia have been fired after performing a version of the Harlem Shake underground and posting a video of it online.

The workers, employed by Barminco, were part of an overnight team, working at the Agnew Mine in Western Australia.

A dismissal letter obtained by the West Australian newspaper said the stunt breached "core values of safety, integrity and excellence".

Barminco could not be reached for comment.

But South African miner Gold Fields, which owns the mine, said Barminco management made the decision after seeing the video on YouTube.

"Safety and mining is absolutely pivotal and that is the main reason why Barminco acted the way it did," Sven Lunsche from Gold Fields told the BBC.

However, one of the sacked workers told the West Australian that the group had not endangered safety.

The Harlem Shake is the latest internet dance craze, and typically begins with one dancer who is then quickly joined by others, often in costumes or with props.

Up to 4,000 people a day have uploaded their own 30-second video variations.

The dance is set to the Harlem Shake dance track by US DJ Baauer. The craze drove the song to the top of the iTunes US chart and number three on the iTunes Australia list and on the UK singles chart.

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