Bodies trapped in mine

Police and mine authorities are trying to work out a way to remove five bodies from an abandoned mine.

The five were buried alive last week when they tried to get out of the mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga, after illegally digging gold from the mine.

The police said seven illegal miners went inside the 120m deep mine shaft in search of gold remains.

Rocks fell when they tried to get out, and only two managed to escape.

Barberton police spokesman Jabu Ndubane said: "The two men who managed to escape went to inform the relatives of the trapped ones, who reported the matter to the police."

The mourning families have asked for permission to remove the bodies after the mine authorities refused to go inside , saying it was too dangerous.

Ndubane said talks are being held about payment of more than R100000 for a rescue team from Pretoria. - Alfred Moselakgomo