Illegal miner clash leaves 7 dead

2013-07-30 08:55

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Johannesburg - Seven illegal miners have died and 12 have been wounded in a clash in a mine shaft in Brakpan North, on the East Rand, Ekurhuleni emergency management services said on Tuesday.

"The mine rescue services retrieved seven bodies yesterday [Monday]. This morning they will go and search [for more] on another level," said senior district manager Roggers Mamaila.

Rescue workers had initially thought there were only four bodies underground, but had found six bodies on level two of shaft seven, and one in shaft 11.

"Today they will go to shaft seven, level three just to check that we leave no bodies down there, because some families are claiming their family members are still missing," Mamaila said.

On Monday, a 12th illegal miner was rescued from the mine.

"He just has a broken leg. For someone who went through such an ordeal he looks fine," Mamaila said. He was taken to the Far East Rand Hospital.

The other 11 rescued had injuries, including gunshot wounds, and some needed amputations.

Emergency services were alerted to the violence at the mine on Sunday.

Mamaila said shots were fired during an underground clash between two groups of illegal miners on Thursday.

Mamaila said the rescue mission involved the police and the mineral resources department.

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