Rescue of trapped Joburg miners suspended
An attempt to rescue two illegal miners trapped in a disused gold mine in Johannesburg has been suspended until Friday because of safety concerns, emergency workers said.
Rescuers had been waiting for a recommendation from the department of mineral and energy affairs, Johannesburg emergency management services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said on Thursday.
"The official from the ministry has visited the rescue site and will hand in their recommendation tomorrow [Friday]. From there, we will decide on a way forward," he said.
Police would take over security of the site until rescue efforts resumed.
"It is impossible for rescue services to get the miners at this stage. It is a dangerous operation and for safety reasons, the rescue effort has been called off till tomorrow [Friday] morning," said Mulaudzi.
The location of the two miners within the shaft system was known by rescue services.
The men, both Zimbabwean, were in a group illegally mining for gold in a disused shaft at Durban Deep on the West Rand.
They were caught in a rockfall shortly after midnight. Six illegal miners, all Zimbabweans, escaped and raised the alarm.
Another five illegal miners had since emerged from the mine, and had assisted emergency services with any information that could help the two trapped miners.
Mulaudzi said earlier on Thursday that there could be more miners underground, but that efforts were focused on getting the two out of the mine.