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Community members pray for trapped Lily Mine workers

The workers are trapped beneath rubble and boulders, which fell into a large hole on Friday morning.

One of the rescue vehicles entering Lily Mine in Mpumalanga. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

BARBERTON - Community members and African National Congress (ANC) supporters this afternoon arrived at the Lily Mine near Barberton where three workers remain trapped underground in a collapsed metal container.

The workers are trapped beneath rubble and boulders, which fell into a larger hole on Friday morning.

Dozens of employees were freed within hours of the cave-in.

Earlier today, rescue workers were given the first signs of hope when they heard tapping on the metal.

WATCH: Lily Mine workers still trapped - 80 hours later.

Community members say they've heard about the collapse and have come to offer support.

Many of them are seen wearing ANC T-shirts and are sitting outside the mine with neighbours.

Some of them say most of the men in their communities are mineworkers who provide for extended families.

The mine management says they're hopeful they will be able to remove the boulders blocking access to the container.

At the same time, a neighbour of one of the workers stuck underground has told Eyewitness News she's in a state of shock and is praying for a miracle.

There are nervous faces outside the mine with many of the community members praying for the safe return of the other workers.

Sibongile Nkosi lives next door to one of the workers in the Doekies area not far from the mine.

She says she hopes God will intervene and save them.

"We are shocked, we are trusting in God and our hope is in Him. No one planned this so our trust is in God."

She's described the worker, known as Solomon, as a friendly man.

"[He is] a funny guy and he's always happy."

Nkosi has been joined by other concerned residents outside the mine and says she will stay there until the men are brought to the surface.

At the same time, President Jacob Zuma is tonight urging South Africans to keep the families of three mineworkers trapped underground in their thoughts and prayers.

The Presidency's Bongani Majola said, "This is a very difficult period for affected families, says the president, as they await and pray for their loved ones to be found in good health. Let us also keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

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