Trapped Miners Begin Emerging From Illegal S. Africa Mine

Rescuers in contact with 30 illegal miners near surface; more below

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2014 6:29 AM CST | Updated Feb 16, 2014 10:59 AM CST

(Newser) – A handful of the 200-plus illegal South African miners trapped in an abandoned gold mine near Johannesburg have begun to emerge, reports the BBC. Rescuers are in contact with a group of about 30 miners who are near the surface, reports Reuters. "They told us there are about 200 others trapped further below," says an emergency services spokesman. "It's an abandoned mine shaft in the middle of (open fields) ... it was not a blocked-off area ." The group is apparently trapped by fallen boulders; excavating equipment has been brought in. Illegal mining is common in South Africa, notes Reuters.

Emergency rescue workers attempt to free trapped illegal miners at a disused gold mine shaft near, Benoni, South Africa, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.   (AP Photo)
Emergency rescue workers attempt to free trapped illegal miners at a disused gold mine shaft near, Benoni, South Africa, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.   (AP Photo)
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