Welkom – Police in the Free State are investigating the deaths of 11 people who were pulled from a mine in Welkom. Police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said police were investigation a case of inquest following the retrieval of the 11 bodies from the mine.

"On the 15 May 2017 at about 10:00, the mine security informed the police of the bodies that had been retrieved from underground Eland Shaft mine in Welkom," Mbambo said.

"This follows an apparent explosion underground on Thursday the 11 May 2017.

"Bodies that were retrieved were found to be in a decomposing state and others had name tags attached to them. The cause of the explosion is not yet known and will form part of the investigation. The bodies who were found not to be employees of the mine are yet to be identified and to determine what they were doing underground. A postmortem will also be conducted to determine the exact cause of death."

African News Agency