You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

11 illegal miners rescued in S. Africa

JOHANNESBURG — Debris trapped men who were working illegally in an abandoned mine in South Africa, but rescue workers cleared the shaft entrance and at least 11 miners were escorted to safety Sunday, officials said.

Some of the victims still below the surface in the gold mine shaft near Johannesburg appeared to be reluctant to emerge because of fears they would be arrested, emergency responder Kobus Du Plooy said by telephone from the scene. He said he did not know how many people were still in the shaft.

Continue reading below

Some of those who came out were dehydrated but in good spirits, Du Plooy said. Earlier, rescue vehicles and equipment were brought to the site to stabilize the ground before the rescue operation began.

They were believed to have been trapped since Saturday morning and police patrolling in the area heard their screams for help, the South African Press Association reported.

Rescue teams arriving at the scene spoke to about 30 miners near the top of the old shaft, whose entrance was covered by a large rock, the news agency said.

Those miners said as many as 200 others were trapped further down a steep tunnel at the mine in Benoni, on the outskirts of South Africa’s biggest city.

Illegal mining is common in South Africa, a major producer of gold and platinum. Workers brave unsafe conditions below ground amid reports of the involvement of organized crime and even clashes between rival groups seeking to extract precious metal from the shafts.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.