Joburg mine rescue efforts continue

Efforts to rescue two illegal miners trapped in a disused gold mine in Joburg were set to continue on Friday morning, emergency management services said.

Spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said they were waiting for the minerals and energy department and the mine owners to assess the situation and make a recommendation.

“(When this has been done) mine rescue will start with the operation.”

Rescuers knew where the two miners were within the shaft system.

The men, both Zimbabwean, were part of a group illegally mining for gold in a disused shaft at Durban Deep on the West Rand. They were caught in a rockfall shortly after midnight on Thursday. Six illegal miners, all Zimbabweans, escaped and raised the alarm. Another five had since emerged from the mine.

Mulaudzi, on Thursday, said there could be more miners underground, but that efforts were focused on getting the two out of the mine.

Late on Thursday afternoon, the rescue effort was suspended until Friday because of safety concerns.

Police would take over security of the site until rescue efforts resumed. – Sapa