Management at the Gloria Coal Mine in Mpumalanga say rescue and recovery operations have been halted because of a toxic gas release.
Six people died during an underground explosion on Wednesday when a group of suspected criminals were allegedly stealing copper cables at a shaft in the abandoned mine.
Operations to find the rest of the group trapped underground, are expected to resume next week only.
Eyewitness News reporter Mia Lindeque explains why it is too dangerous for rescuers to continue.
Operations have been halted specifically because there is a toxic gas released which obviously exploded on Wednesday, it is carbon monoxide. Before the team can actually risk their lives and go underground, they need to make sure it is safe and make sure that there is ventilation.— Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
They can't actually establish ventilation underground because there is still no power.— Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
I understand it will take them about four days to secure that ventilation and then they will start operations which will only take them a further two days.— Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
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