Search for boy who fell down shaft suspended due to five rock falls

By Drum Digital
01 March 2017

Search and rescue operations to save five-year-old Richard Thole have been delayed once again due to five rock falls.

By Aphiwe Boyce & Ayanda Sitole 

Search and rescue operations to save five-year-old Richard Thole have been delayed once again.

The little boy fell down a mine shaft in Boksburg, Gauteng, last Saturday. Rescue operations had to be halted temporarily this morning due to five rockfalls that blocked the passage way of the shaft.

Community members have been on the scene to watch the rescue operation unfold and Ekurhuleni Metro's Community Safety MMC Vivian Chauke was also there to assess the situation.

Community members from near the Boksburg mine shaft are on the scene: Picture/ Aphiwe Boyce

Chauke said she’s unhappy with suggestions by Africa News Network7 (ANN7) that illegal miners (aka Zama Zamas) should be used to go down the shaft and help find Richard.

The suggestion was that they were more familiar with this type of situation.

Richard’s mother, Ntobeko Thole, was on the scene yesterday and told reporters that she’s frustrated that mine rescue services have still not found her son.

“They have been trying to find him and even brought their cameras but they are still struggling to reach the deepest part of the shaft,” she said. “The shaft walls have been collapsing and it has been disturbing their work.”

Mine rescue services have not confirmed when they will return to Boksburg and resume the rescue operation.

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