File picture.

Roodepoort - Emergency services have ended their search for an illegal miner who was trapped in an old mine shaft in Durban Deep, Roodepoort.

“After 16 hours of determination, courage... and hardwork covering a distance of three kilometres underground... we decided to stop the rescue operation,” Johannesburg EMS spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said on Friday.

“The reasons are the operating area was becoming smaller for us to operate and the area was becoming unsafe.”

He said the area was dangerous due to falling rock walls underground.

“It is unfortunate that we could not rescue the illegal miner. However we are humbled by the words of appreciation from the family members of the trapped miner,” said Mulaudzi.

On Thursday afternoon emergency services believed the man was still alive after being trapped underground at the unused shaft that had been cordoned off. - Sapa