Illegal Miners Remain At Risk In South Africa

wochit news
February 17, 2014 AT 11:53 AM
Analysts say insufficient efforts to combat widespread illegal South Africa mining led to accidents such as the weekend incident that's trapped some 200 men in an abandoned gold mine. Dirk Bakker, senior lecturer at the School of Mining Engineering of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa said, "The government leaves it mainly to the mining companies to prevent and minimize illegal mining. It is only when there are accidents that rescue organizations and local authorities get involved." Dozens of miners remained in the mine shaft Monday, which became blocked by boulders over the weekend. They're refusing to emerge following the rescue of 22 of their fellow miners Sunday. The 22 were treated medically, then arrested. Police are investigating allegations that the men were initially trapped by rival illegal miners who pushed boulders into the mine shaft.