WASHINGTON DC —
More than 30 illegal miners, most of them from Zimbabwe, are feared dead in an abandoned mine in South Africa after inhaling high levels of carbon monoxide.
Most of them are from Gokwe in the Midlands province.
Fellow miners, who went down the disused Durban Deep Mine in Roodeport, just outside Johannesburg, trying to retrieve the bodies of the deceased miners, fear that almost all of the miners trapped underground are dead.
Spokesman Robert Mlaudzi of the city of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services said last night they managed to bring out five bodies but had to abandon the operation after they detected high levels of carbon monoxide in one of the shafts.
Last week two Zimbabweans died in another abandoned gold mine in South Africa.
Mlaudzi said they will only continue operations only when the carbon monoxide levels go down.
Zimbabwean Sibongile Nkomo, who lost relatives in the mine accident and is at the mine, said although the operation is very slow, 19 bodies are ready to be brought out.