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.