Rescue of illegal miners underway

One of the survivors claims a dozen miners were attacked and held hostage by a rival group.

South African police escort illegal miners arrested for illegal mining and trespassing on 7 January, 2014 in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

ROODEPOORT - Police have begun rescuing people from an illegal makeshift gold mine on Gauteng's West Rand on Tuesday.

Officers were called to the scene earlier in the day to investigate claims by a survivor that several people were killed during a hostage drama which began on Monday.

The police's rescue team have now pulled out at least 11 people.

Emergency services officials are on high alert.

Details are still sketchy and it remains unclear whether the rescued people were part of the hostage situation.

It is still not clear if anybody was killed.

According to a witness who was treated for multiple stab wounds, dozens of illegal miners were held hostage by a rival group.

A team of experts are now interviewing the survivors and will be collecting statements throughout the afternoon.