Rescue operation for 5-year-old trapped in mineshaft suspended

2017-02-27 21:00
A rescue worker descending into the mine shaft where a 5-year-old boy went missing. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

A rescue worker descending into the mine shaft where a 5-year-old boy went missing. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The rescue operation for a 5-year-old boy who fell into an empty mine shaft in Jerusalem, an informal settlement outside Boksburg, on Saturday has been suspended.

Speaking on Monday evening, Ekurhuleni emergency services acting spokesperson Vincent Khoza said the rescue operation would resume on Tuesday morning.

 "The rescue operation was called off at 19:30 because it's dark and it's very unsafe," Khoza said.

Mine rescue services attempted to go down the mine shaft but toxic gas and poor light hampered efforts to reach the bottom.  

Residents who watched the rescue mission all day hoping that the boy would be found were disappointed by the suspension of the rescue operation.

Earlier, a drone was used to fly over the area to assess the stability of the ground.

Fell while playing

Khoza said when the rescue team went down on Sunday there was no sign of the child.

On Monday morning locals flocked to the shaft. They stood nearby watching and waiting for any news. Some sang gospel songs, while others drank beer.

The boy fell into the hole sometime between 12:00 and 13:00 on Saturday.

Rescue South Africa helped with the operation, but the rescue was called off later that day due to the instability of the ground.

The boy's family said they last saw him when he went to play with friends, Khoza said.

"When we went to his mother, she said he went out to play. One of his friends told us that he fell into the shaft."

Residents then alerted emergency services.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accident

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
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 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.