Rescue workers in South Africa believe there are still a number of miners in an abandoned mine shaft just east of Johannesburg. Officials say they refuse to come up out of fear of being arrested.
The miners illegally entered the shaft in search of leftover precious metals, like gold, when they became trapped over the weekend. It’s illegal to enter the mine because it was deemed unsafe by the government. (Via WBBM)
According to Al Jazeera, "Eleven miners have been removed from the site, they have been checked by the medical staff … and from there they have been moved to police custody." (Via)
The refusal to come to the surface has hampered rescue efforts. Rescue crews have handed over efforts to mine security. Fox News explains it’s just too dangerous for officials to go down into the mine.
“At many South African mines, there's known to be gangs of illegal miners trying to find gold. There have been fights underground. People have died. Not surprisingly, rescuers don't want to go down there,” Fox News reported.
So far, no one is reported to have been hurt. There’s believed to be as many as 200 people still in the mine, but those who have come up are reportedly keeping tight-lipped about their colleagues.
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