24 bodies retrieved from mine in Welkom

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Credit: www.sabreakingnews.co.za

The police in Welkom in the Free State say 13 more bodies were discovered on Tuesday following last week Thursday’s initial discovery of 11 bodies in a Welkom mine.  This now brings the total number of bodies found to 24.

Police believe that the bodies died in an underground explosion and will be investigating the cause of the explosion.

Police spokesperson, Thandi Mbambo, says the mine security of the Eland Mine Shaft notified the police of the discovery at 10:00 yesterday. She says the bodies were found in a decomposed state while others had name tags on them.

She says the police believe this was done to easily identify the bodies. Mbambo says the exact cause of the explosion which allegedly took place on Thursday 11 May will form part of the investigation.

“Currently the cause of the explosion is not known. The bodies that were found are not employees of the mine, they are yet to be identified. We also need to determine what they were doing underground. Post-mortems will be conducted to investigate the exact causes of death,” says Mbambo.

A spokesperson for Harmony Mine, Lauren Fourie, confirmed the incident and says it is suspected that the explosion might have been caused by illegal mining activities. She says the mine is currently not in operation and is mainly used for pumping water through the shafts. She says the police and Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) are investigating the matter.

Mark Steenbok- Courant News