A group of 22 people, believed to be Lesotho nationals, are trapped underground at the Gloria Mine, some 36km from Middelburg in Mpumalanga, The Citizen reported on Wednesday. The paper quotes the Middelburg Observer, which reported that a group of 42 Lesotho nationals had allegedly gone underground in an attempt to steal cables, when a gas explosion took place. According to the local paper, 20 members of the group managed to reach safety, leaving the remaining 22 trapped underground.The group that managed to surface reportedly sought help from local ANC ward councillor Andile Magwane.A search-and-rescue operation was reportedly underway at the shaft. Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe was not aware of the incident when contacted by News24 on Wednesday. The mine has not been in operation since September, when it was shut down for six months as part of a modernisation project, Engineering News reported. BREAKING NEWS: 22 people trapped in Gloria mineshaft | #Middelburg Observer https://t.co/rh9WVtyzwN— Middelburg Observer (@MOBSERV) February 6, 2019More to follow.