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22 illegal miners rescued

Free State police said officials managed to rescue 22 illegal miners trapped underground near Welkom.

Mine shaft. Picture: AFP
mining,illegal mining,gold mining,Department of Mineral Resources
Local

CAPE TOWN – Free State police on Friday said they managed to rescue 22 illegal miners who were trapped in a Welkom mine.

On Thursday, 10 men appeared in court for trespassing, attempted theft and illegal immigration.

According to authorities, the other 12 men will appear in court at a later date.

The police's Stephen Thakeng said rescuers are now leaving the scene.

“The rescue officials inserted a camera about 630 metres down and nobody could be seen. It was then decided to call off the operation.”

Meanwhile, 19 illegal miners were trapped in Kleinzee in the Northern Cape after a tunnel collapsed on Tuesday.

One miner was rescued and two bodies were recovered.

In Gauteng, two men were stranded at the Durban Deep mine shaft in Roodepoort after rock fall in the area.

Six others managed to escape.

In March, 20 illegal miners were trapped at the Gravelotte gold mine on Gauteng’s East Rand.

The men were mining illegally when a rock fell and trapped them underground.

Rescue personnel called off the search after the operation was deemed dangerous.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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