19 May 2017

South Africa: 31 Bodies Recovered At Welkom Mine

Authorities say they have recovered more bodies at Harmony Gold's Eland mine in Welkom, Free State, after a gas explosion.

Major-General Lerato Molale said on Friday that the total of bodies of illegal miners recovered is 31.

"As I said earlier, we rely heavily on the information from the illegal miners that surface from the shafts," Molale said.

Molale said 16 more illegal miners have handed themselves over to police.

He said the number of arrests is 27.

On Thursday, the bodies of four more illegal miners were recovered.

The miners had forced their way into the St Helena shaft before the gas explosion last week Thursday on May 11. Eleven bodies were retrieved on Monday, 13 on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday.

"The rescue team travelled a distance of about 20km to 25km from the St Helena shaft to the Eland shaft to get the bodies out of the mine," Molale said at the time.

The bodies had already started to decompose. Some had name tags attached.

The miners, aged between 30 and 35, were believed to be from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho.

Source: News24

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