Rescue plan for boy trapped mine shaft in limbo

2017-03-06 17:00
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)

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Johannesburg - It has been 10 days since Richard Thole fell into a disused mine shaft in Boksburg, and there is still no sign of a plan to get him out.

On Monday, News24 made several attempts to reach the office of the Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, to ask what the proposed plan of action would be since his visit to the site with members of the SA National Defence Force on Thursday. 

Masina had asked for help from the SANDF after a rescue team failed to make any progress.

All queries relating to the incident had been referred to Masina's office. Despite several attempts, News24 failed to reach his spokesperson Gugu Ndima. 

On Thursday, the SANDF said it would only start trying to find Thole once an assessment of the mine shaft had been completed. The SA Military Health Services' Colonel William Bucibe said at the time that they met a team of experts to decide on a plan.

The SANDF, Masina, Mine Rescue Services and Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services were involved in the rescue effort, in the Jerusalem informal settlement.

Richard Thole fell into the shaft Saturday afternoon, February 25.

On Wednesday, Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services’ spokesperson William Ntladi said heavy rock falls had delayed efforts to find Thole.

Last week, Mine Rescue Services sent a camera down the shaft three times. Each time it got caught between a pile of rocks on a ledge at a depth of 60m.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents

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