Sunday, 20 September 2015

South Africa: Department assessing how to recover bodies of illegal miners

The Mineral Resources Department is assessing all available options to recover the bodies of illegal miners who died underground at an old East Rand mine.

The recovery operation was suspended at the closed New Kleinfontein Gold Mine in Benoni on Tuesday. "The mine rescue services could not recover the identified bodies due to significant fall of ground as well as restricted travelling and dangerous underground conditions," the department said on Friday.

"The recovery was suspended to prevent further loss of life."

It awaited a report from the mine rescue services to assess what could be done. The illegal miners gained access by digging a hole into the old underground workings.

On Monday, Gauteng police said it was believed that the illegal miners died early last week when a generator exploded underground. Due to the fumes at the time, they could not be rescued.

"The mining rescue services only identified a single body and there are possibly two other bodies as indicated by the illegal miners," the Department said.

Sunday 20 September 2015


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