Illegal Miners Rescued, Arrested in Johannesburg

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Written by Makula Dunbar

Written by Emma G. Fitzsimmons | From The New York Times

Emergency crews in South Africa rescued 11 miners who were trapped while working illegally in an abandoned gold mine near Johannesburg on Sunday, but other miners decided to stay underground to avoid being arrested, emergency workers said.

More than 200 miners were initially reported to be in the mine, based on estimates from those who had been trapped. It was unclear how many people remained in the mine on Sunday night, but the emergency crews said that they had left a ladder and that the miners could exit safely at any time.

The miners had reported that about 30 people were stuck in the top section of the mine, and that 200 others were in a lower section, but officials were not able to confirm those figures.

The rescue operations were called off after nine hours, according to ER24, a private, national emergency medical services organization in South Africa. The crime scene was handed over to the police and to mine security officials at Gold One, a mining company.

The trapped miners were working there illegally, the Department of Mineral Resources said. Those who were rescued received medical attention and were arrested, the department said.

Read more at The New York Times