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article imageIllegal gold miners trapped in shaft staying put to avoid arrest

By Marcus Hondro     Feb 17, 2014 in World
As many as 200 miners may be trapped in a shaft of an illegal gold mine near Johannesburg but they are refusing rescue. Given the illegality of the mine, officials have said they'll be arrested if and when they come out.
So they're staying put.
The mine is situated in an open field near the town of Benoni and the miners are believed to have been trapped since Saturday. A private security company has been hired by government to watch over the mine, ready to set in motion rescue should the miners decide that they want out...and there to prevent any miners escaping without arrest.
They do not have ropes or ladders, however, and it is thought that they cannot get out without help. Reports suggest they are not in danger but that cannot be confirmed. Eleven miners have been rescued and were subsequently arrested.
It appears the miners may have been trapped by rival miners trying to rob them.
Gold mining is one of the biggest industries in South Africa but it is plagued by dangerous mines that are not operating legally. The number of mining deaths in the country is high, with the majority of those deaths coming from illegal mines.
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