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More resources deployed at Langlaagte mine

Two additional emergency vehicles have arrived on the scene while an unknown number of men are still trapped.

FILE: The Saps, JMPD, paramedics and City of Johannesburg rescue teams are at the George Harrison Park in Laanglagte trying to rescue trapped illegal miners. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - An urban search and rescue truck as well as additional emergency services vehicles have now arrived at the Langlaagte mine shaft where officials are still assessing the risk of resuming rescue operations.

A team of 10 specialists and four illegal miners have now returned after going underground to to check if toxic fumes have subsided to make it possible to save an unknown number of men trapped underground.

A 42-year-old man is the latest miner to be rescued from the shaft, while seven people have been arrested and police say anyone who surfaces now will be treated as a suspect.

It's not clear whether any more illegal miners have been rescued, however, two additional emergency vehicles have since arrived on the scene.

The team of specialists is expected to give an update on whether it is safe to resume a rescue operation that was suspended yesterday.

Authorities have still not been able to give a number on how many people are still underground, six days after they became trapped.

MINISTER ADDRESSES COMMUNITY

Earlier in the day, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane urged the community to work with authorities to stop illegal mining and let them do their job now to prevent any loss of life.

At the same time, Zwane says his department wants to give permits to illegal miners at shafts in order to create jobs.

Zwane says plans need to be made to absorb illegal miners into the mainstream industry.

"But as the department we've also taken the decision that where it is conducive to mine, we allow people to mine, give them permits to mine and incorporate them to the main stream to ensure people do their jobs."

Dozens of family members are still waiting outside the mine shaft.

It's unclear how long they will have to wait. However, authorities say they are doing the best they can in this complex situation.

It's unclear how long they will have to wait. However, authorities say they are doing the best they can in this complex situation.

WATCH: Families' anguish as illegal Langlaagte miners remain trapped

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