Rescue op for boy trapped in Boksburg mine halted

Officials say an excavator is now needed to widen the shaft and to make it safer for the rescuers.

Hundreds of residents in Jerusalem in Boksburg watch on as the rescue team prepares to enter the shaft to rescue a five-year-old boy. Picture: Pelane Phakgadi/EWN.

BOKSBURG - Emergency services say the rescue mission at a Boksburg mine has been halted for now as additional machinery is needed.

Five-year-old Richard Thole is believed to have fallen into an abandoned shaft on Saturday.

Officials say an excavator is now needed to widen the shaft and to make it safer for the rescuers.

Rescue equipment used on Tuesday is now being packed away to make way for a specialised excavator scheduled to arrive later on Tuesday evening.

A smaller excavator has started work already aiming to make the shaft wider.

Community Safety MMC Vivien Chauke says the machinery will be used through the night.

"We are doing our best. What is important now is to focus to bring the child to the surface."

She says the mines rescue unit will commence with their mission once the shaft has been widened.

(Edited by Zunaid Ismael)