Families of trapped Langlaagte miners disappointed after search called off

Volunteers went back underground yesterday to continue looking for an unknown number of men.

Illegal miners emerge from Langlaagte mine after being underground for more than two weeks.Picture: Kgothatso Mogale

JOHANNESBURG - The families of two illegal miners, whose bodies were brought to the surface in Langlaagte, are disappointed by the authorities' decision to call off the search for their loved ones.

Volunteers went back underground yesterday to continue looking for an unknown number of men after the official search was cancelled, citing dangerous conditions underground.

The bodies of the two men who were originally from Zimbabwe were brought to the surface late last night in the absence of the South African police service and emergency officials.

This brings the number of deaths to three.

It's believed that some of the so called zama zamas who were trapped, escaped after police announced that anyone who emerged from the disused shaft would be arrested.

The chairperson of the Zimbabwean community here in South Africa, Nqabutho Mabena, says the families of the victims are devastated.

"They appreciate what the community and the people have done but also very much traumatised and disappointed by the action of the rescue team and the ministry of mineral resources."

WATCH: Zama zamas emerge after rescue called off at Langlaagte mine