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.
The mine was in an open, public field and police allegedly began investigating the incident after a police patrol heard shouts.
A rescued miner told officials that 200 more diggers were deeper in the mine, and the exact number remains unknown.
The miners were first checked by medics, and then handed over to the police for questioning.
At of 1:39 p.m. rescue operations were stopped and the case was handed over to the police.
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