Mike Hutchings and John Mkhize are reporting that twelve South African ‘illegal’ miners were brought to the surface on Sunday after being trapped in an abandoned gold mine near Johannesburg, but an unknown number remained underground because they feared arrest, an emergency services spokesman said.
The rescued informal miners were checked by medics and then handed over to the police. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.
An Emergency Care and Response Services (ER24) spokesman initially reported that there were some 200 additional miners further down in the mine, which is owned by Gold One, a Chinese gold producer currently not working the mine.
Illegal mining of abandoned shafts is common in South Africa, where informal miners excavate ore to sell, often living underground in dangerous and precarious conditions. Fatalities are common.
Read more at Reuters.