19 miners trapped in Northern Cape mine

2012-05-22 14:26
Johannesburg - Nineteen illegal miners were trapped underground in a diamond mine near Kleinzee in the Northern Cape on Tuesday, police said.

"Rescue workers are talking to the trapped miners, but we are not sure of their condition," Captain Cherelle Ehlers said.

A disused tunnel in the mine collapsed, trapping the men who were digging illegally for diamonds. Eleven managed to escape and alerted police that there were people underground.

"The miners are trapped in tunnels at the Bontekou mine in Kleinzee," said Ehlers. The mine closed the tunnels in April.

Police and rescue teams from Kommagas, Kleinzee, Port Nolloth, Upington, and Kimberley, as well as rescuers from the De Beers mine and the Nama Khoi disaster management were are at the scene.

 It is thought the tunnel collapsed at about 03:00 on Tuesday. The area that caved in was about 6m deep and led to several tunnels and an underground waiting area.

Three of the 11 who escaped were admitted to a hospital in Springbok.

Ehlers said loose gravel was hindering rescue efforts.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    kimberley  |  search and rescue  |  mining

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Heyneke unveils his USA plan
Lancaster, Robshaw consider their futures
Foley destroys England's dream
Boks continue upward curve
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.