Illegal miners rescued in South Africa

Reuters
Rescue officials use hoists to remove debris as they work to rescue trapped suspected illegal miners from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni

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A dozen South African illegal miners were brought to the surface on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 after being trapped in an abandoned gold mine near Johannesburg, but an unknown number remained underground because they feared arrest, an emergency services spokesman said.

Those brought to the surface were checked by medics and then handed over to the police. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

Rescue operations ceased as darkness fell but private mine security guards were stationed around the shaft and police were also on hand to arrest any other miners who came out.

A police patrol in the semi-rural Johannesburg suburb of Benoni, where gold has been mined for decades, had been alerted by shouts from the trapped miners. (Reuters)

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