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Published: Wed, September 14, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

South African searchers rescue injured miner

South African searchers rescue injured miner

Two more bodies were recovered from the disused mine in Langlaagte on Tuesday after rescue operations were halted from Sunday due to risky conditions underground. The number of missing miners was unclear, with some media reports saying "several" had fainted in the tunnels after inhaling carbon monoxide.

The Mining Rescue Services company returned to continue with the operation after carbon monoxide levels were deemed too unsafe earlier on Monday afternoon.

Recovering bullion prices, paired with unemployment, illicit migration, and poverty, have all contributed to the growth of the illegal mining in South Africa. They were seen by family members of the trapped men, who were conducting a spiritual ritual when the three miners ran away before police arrived.

The gold mining industry was a foundation of the South African economy but has struggled over the years because of rising costs. After last nights rescue, there are now two miners unaccounted for.

It is in these unsafe tunnels that the remaining miners are said to be trapped. The number still stuck is believed to be at least eight. But the crowds gathered at the scene were growing increasingly impatient, meeting with various community leaders, church leaders and officials from the Zimbabwean embassy to express their concerns.

"It was a team of eight that went in to try and pull out the one who has died, and they were overcome by the smoke".

It's not clear if the miners standing outside will later this evening go back down the mine shaft.

"At the time we speak, the rescue operation has been interrupted because of the situation underground including smoke and fire that are in the area so we can not access the areas where the bodies are", explained Joseph Mosebenzi Zwane, South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources.

In it, Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says the department is working together with law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.

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