Africa Mining: Tragic end for illegal miners trapped underground in Johannesburg’s oldest gold mine


Illegal miners involved in an accident at Johannesburg’s oldest mine have either been arrested, are dead, or are awaiting rescue, according to local South African publication, Business Daily. Emergency services over the weekend were attempting to reach a handful of miners still trapped underground. They have been trapped since Wednesday last week.

It is not known how many are trapped, though four who escaped have been treated and arrested already, and rescue workers were being guided to where seven dead bodies were said to be located.

The mine in Langlaagte to the west of Johannesburg, is where gold was first discovered in the city in 1886.

“We were called to the scene on Thursday, but other reports suggest that the people have been trapped since Wednesday,” Business Daily quoted Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesman, Synock Matobako, as saying.

“We don’t know exactly how many people are underground, we have been informed that they could be up to 16.

“The rescue mission is slowed by the difficult and dangerous conditions underground, as the mine is very old. We have to walk and crawl in small tunnels for about 1.5km to reach some of them.”(Source: Miningjournal; Business Daily)

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