S. African rescuers try to reach more than 200 trapped illegal miners
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 00:54
Feb. 16 - Rescue services in South Africa try to reach more than 200 illegal miners reported trapped in abandoned gold shaft just east of Johannesburg. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Rescue services in South Africa are trying to reach more than 200 illegal miners reported trapped underground in an abandoned gold shaft in a suburb just east of Johannesburg, an emergency services spokesman said on Sunday.
Head of Disaster and Management services, Moshima Mosiya said, "This was a closed shaft, it was closed with concrete slabs, deliberately so to prevent people from entering, but they have somehow to open up a hole on the site and currently I think we are able to talk to the people that are trapped inside. We are enlarging the hole so that we can able to lift them out of the shaft"
Heavy equipment had been brought in to try to remove the boulders obstructing the shaft.
Illegal mining of abandoned shafts is common in South Africa, where informal miners excavate mineral ore to be sold to buyers, often living underground in dangerous and precarious conditions. Fatal accidents are common, and underground battles between rival groups have also been reported.
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