'They know the channels best' - Illegal miners help search in Langlaagte rescue

2016-09-13 06:17
Mines Rescue team making their way down the shaft. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Mines Rescue team making their way down the shaft. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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

Johannesburg - Highly specialised rescue technicians and illegal miners formed an unlikely partnership as they spent Monday night searching for men trapped underground at a disused Langlaagte mine.

The teams found the body of a man shortly before 21:00 and spent some time getting the body to the surface.

Earlier on Monday, three illegal miners, commonly known as "zama zamas", were arrested at the disused mineshaft and taken for questioning.

Authorities are unable to confirm how many people are missing.

On Wednesday morning last week a group of miners went into the shaft. It was unclear how many were in this group.

On Thursday 16 miners went down to look for them. Only eight surfaced. Another eight people went down on Saturday morning to help with the search.

Only four returned on Sunday.

With the search continuing, authorities have made an unorthodox move; equipping the miners and sending them back underground in the search for their missing comrades.  

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said it was the illegal miners' knowledge of the bowels of the mine that made their contribution so valuable.

"The rescuers were guided by the illegal miners because they assisted through the channels. They know the channels best," he said.

One man who was rescued from the mine remains in a critical condition after being trapped below the surface for nearly a week.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  illegal miners  |  mining

Join the conversation!

24.com 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

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 24.com 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.