Search called off for 20 missing in South African mine
Rescuers have abandoned an attempt to locate around 20 illegal miners trapped by a collapse in a disused gold mine near Johannesburg, the Solidarity trade union said Saturday.
“The team indicated that it would only be possible to recover one body as the area was very unstable. All recovery work was called off and the mine tunnel will be sealed soon,” it said.
At least 20 miners are believed killed in the accident that occurred Monday in the Grootvlei mine.
Solidarity said rescuers met 32 illegal miners still working in the sector, four of whom fled.
“The rescue team were unable to convince the remaining 28 illegal miners to leave the mine tunnel along with them, despite their warnings that they could be trapped inside the tunnel if they did not leave the mine in time before it was sealed,” Solidarity said.
It was the latest in a number of fatal accidents in the mine east of Johannesburg which had been officially closed but not made secure.