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25 bodies of illegal miners found, more feared trapped

Date: May 18, 2017

The number of bodies of illegal miners retrieved from the Eland Mine Shaft in Welkom has risen to 25

Police say more bodies of illegal miners could still be trapped underground at a disused Harmony Gold mine in Welkom in the Free State.

So far 25 bodies have been retrieved from the Eland Mine Shaft, some of them had already started decomposing following. The illegal miners also known as zama-zama are suspected to have died of gas inhalation.

Nine zama-zamas have been arrested for trespassing and engaging in illegal mining.

Free State police chief Major-General Lerato Molale says they suspect that zama-zama's entered through the closed entrance at the St Helena mine and used Eland mine as an exit point

The Zama-Zamas say they will continue as the mining is the only job they can do to put food on the table for their families.

Thabiso Radebe filed this report

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