Three illegal miners still trapped

Johannesburg Emergency Services say three illegal miners are still trapped underground in Roodepoort.

FILE: A rescue worker stands next to the illegal mine shaft where eleven miners were rescued after being trapped underground for almost a day on 16 February 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg Emergency Services say three illegal miners are still trapped underground in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

On Saturday night, the body of one of the miners was recovered.

Officials say the 18-year-old was brought to the surface by other illegal miners.

Johannesburg Emergency Services' Nana Radebe says the team has been redirected to another section where the miners are believed to be trapped.

"We hope that they will be able to locate the miners. The carbon monoxide gas is no longer that strong so we are hoping that we will be able to find them."

This is the latest incident involving illegal miners.

A number of illegal miners were rescued in Benoni earlier this week after they had been trapped by a rival group.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called on government to intensify efforts to track down kingpins of illegal mining operations.

The union's national executive committee met in the Johannesburg CBD on Saturday to discuss issues facing the mining industry.

Num's Frans Baleni says, "This is a syndicate which involves international players. Those poor workers on the ground who are illegally mining are actually being used by the bigger network. We require the state machinery to arrest the big guys and not focus on the workers on the ground."