He said it was also unclear if another escape route had been mined from the chamber at all, or whether it had simply also been barricaded by the rockfall.
He said that after the collapse, at least four rescue teams from other nearby mines were immediately summoned to assist in trying to break through to the chamber holding the four miners.
While rescue workers were in touch with the workers throughout Friday afternoon, Montisetse said that at around 5pm they received a distressing message that the group was not doing well.
“One of them said they were suffocating and wanted oxygen, but that was the last they (rescue workers) heard,” he said.
The rescue teams had hoped that they would be able to create some form of ventilation, but that it was believed the rocks had barricaded the ventilation shafts as well.