29 illegal miners rescued, detained

As the miners came to the surface one-by-one, police escorted them to a nearby police van.

Police and rescue workers gather near a makeshift mine near Roodepoort where it's alleged a number of illegal miners were attacked, 7 January 2013. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

ROODEPOORT - Almost 30 people have been rescued and then arrested at an illegal makeshift mine on the West Rand where police are still trying to verify claims of a deadly hostage situation.

A 33-year-old man called officers to the scene earlier on Tuesday claiming a rival group of miners had attacked several men underground on Monday.

He also claims some miners were killed.

As members from the police's rescue team bring the illegal miners to the surface one-by-one, officers are escorting the survivors to a nearby police van.

A case of illegal mining and trespassing is now being investigated.

The police say it's still unclear whether the illegal miners were held hostage.

They also haven't confirmed whether violence broke out but police have recovered some weapons at the site and at least two people have been treated for injuries.

The investigation will also reveal who owns this piece of land where the illegal makeshift mine has been dug out just a few metres from the main road.