Rescue officials remove a rock from an abandoned gold shaft as they work to rescue trapped illegal miners in Benoni, Johannesburg, on February 16, 2014. File picture: Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg -

The bodies of five illegal miners were found near a shaft in Roodepoort on Tuesday, Johannesburg emergency management services said.

“The five illegal miners were confirmed dead on the scene by our paramedics,” spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said.

The cause of death was unknown, Mulaudzi said.

The bodies of the miners were brought to the surface by other illegal miners.

“We are concerned about the number of illegal mining incidents in the area... We want to inform them to stop this dangerous activity because they put their lives in danger,” Mulaudzi said.

The body of another illegal miner was recovered on Sunday in Roodepoort.

Twenty-five people were rescued last week from an abandoned mine in Benoni, on the East Rand.

Police said the bodies of two illegal miners were also found in a separate mine shaft in Benoni last week. - Sapa