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More Than 200 South African Miners Trapped In Gold Shaft

More than 200 miners are reportedly trapped underground after a weekend rockslide. CNN reports at least 11 have been rescued so far.
Posted at 1:34 PM, Feb 16, 2014

More than 200 miners are reportedly trapped in an underground mine after a rockslide in South Africa over the weekend.

CNN reports it happened in an illegal gold mine in the town of Benoni just east of Johannesburg. It adds this mine is one of many illegal and dangerous mines in the country.

Now, rescue workers are trying to get those trapped workers out. The rescuers have been able to get in contact with about 30 of the miners.

CNN adds at least 11 of them have been rescued, but many others are refusing to get out because of fears over being arrested for the illegal mining.

What makes it illegal is that many of those mines are old and abandoned, and have been deemed unsafe by the government. Some reportedly go inside the mines to try and get gold that's been left behind. 

Sky News was there as one of the first miners was rescued. " ... looking very confused. They look very well, though considering they've been trapped underground for two days and a night."

The Telegraph notes the rockslide that caused the miners to be trapped might not have been an accident. One spokesperson told the paper: "Sometimes it happens that rival [mining] groups close the entrance off." The cause, though, hasn't been confirmed.

Sky News adds no deaths have been reported so far. Just a few years ago, another mine accident in South Africa killed more than 80 miners who were reportedly working illegally as well.

As of Sunday morning, NBC reports there have been no injuries in the mine.