May 19 2017 – SA POLICE have recovered 25 bodies, of illegal miners, some believed to be Zimbabweans from an abandoned gold mine in central Free State province, police said (yesterday) Thursday.
The miners were thought to have been killed by an explosion in the Eland mine in the town of Welkom one week ago, police spokeswoman Thandi Mbambo told dpa.
Nine miners who survived the explosion brought the bodies to an area closer to the surface, where security guards spotted them and called police. The bodies were then retrieved between Monday and Wednesday
The death toll had earlier been given as 24.
Mbambo said the cause of the explosion was not known, but that it may have been sparked by gas that was inside the mine.
The mine had earlier been operated by the company Harmony Gold.
Thousands of miners illegally haunt underground tunnels in South Africa’s abandoned mines, looking for gold and other minerals using hardly any safety measures. – dpa