2 illegal miners die in shaft

2014-02-19 09:18

Two illegal miners have died in a mine shaft in Benoni, says Ekurhuleni mayoral spokesperson Zweli Dlamini.

Dlamini said the incident was separate from that of the 25 illegal miners who were rescued from an abandoned mine shaft in Benoni.

“It is two or three kilometres away from the other incident,” he said yesterday.

One of the bodies was retrieved yesterday while the other remained underground.

“One body was brought up by miners themselves, the other body is trapped down there,” he said.

Dlamini said the police and the mineral resources department had known of the two deaths since late last week.

He said emergency rescue services were not tasked with retrieving the bodies as operations of this nature were the competence of the companies operating the mines under the supervision of the department.

Dlamini explained that mine rescues were a specialised field as there were many dangers involved that required specialised training.

Also, as there were bodies involved, the scene has been classified as a crime scene to be investigated by police.

Dlamini referred questions about the retrieval of the bodies to the mineral resources department, but it could not immediately be reached for comment.

It was not immediately clear when the illegal miners died.

News agency Agence France-Presse quoted Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko as saying that the men had died when a large rock fell on them and the second body was pinned under the rock.

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