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Six killed in South Africa coal mine blast, 20 trapped

Staff Writer | February 8, 2019
Six people have been killed in a gas explosion in an abandoned coal mine in South Africa and at least 20 people are said to be trapped underground.
South Africa mine
Africa   Experts had launched a rescue operation
The incident took place at the Gloria coal mine near Middelburg in the eastern province of Mpumalanga after a group entered the shafts to try to steal cables.

State broadcaster SABC said experts had launched a rescue operation to search for more than 20 people trapped underground.

The mine had been closed for several months and efforts of the group that went in to steal copper cables were 'hampered' because the shaft is unsafe and not properly ventilated.

Police added that the group went into the mine between Sunday and Wednesday, and that rescue efforts were being delayed because of the lack of ventilation.

The body of one person who died was taken out on Wednesday and the other four bodies were recovered on Thursday.