Death toll from SAfrican mine blast rises to 18 as 13 bodies recovered
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Rescuers have retrieved
another 13 bodies from a disused South African coal mine
following a gas blast there around two weeks ago, police said on
Friday, raising the confirmed death toll to 18.
More than 20 people were trapped underground in early
February when a gas pipe exploded after they entered the mine to
steal copper wire that supplies power for lighting and
Rescuers had to abort their mission on Friday after bringing
13 bodies to the surface due to the presence of thick smoke,
police spokesman Leonard Hlathi said. "By Monday they will go
back again and continue with their job," he told Reuters.
The Gloria Coal Mine in the eastern province of Mpumalanga
is owned by Tegeta Resources and Exploration, which is under
creditor protection after its owners, the Gupta brothers, found
it difficult to continue doing business in South Africa
following corruption allegations against them.
The brothers were accused of unduly influencing former
president Jacob Zuma over political appointments and contract
awards. Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by John Stonestreet)
First Published: 2019-02-22 13:49:50
Updated 2019-02-22 16:07:14
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