Rescuers Start Bringing Up Dozens Of Trapped Illegal Miners In South Africa

A rescue operation is underway to free trapped illegal miners near Johannesburg, South Africa, but some are remaining underground to avoid arrest. This story is developing.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

South African rescuers started bringing to the surface a group of illegal miners this morning who were trapped in an abandoned gold shaft near Johannesburg for at least two days, an emergency services spokesman told Reuters.

“Twelve have been rescued so far,” Werner Vermaak, a South African Emergency Medical Service spokesman said, noting that others in the group were on their way to safety.

Some of the miners who are still underground are refusing to come up, saying they do not want to be arrested.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Heavy equipment was used in an attempt to remove debris and boulders, and Reuters reported there was a heavy police presence.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

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