61 illegal miners found dead in South Africa

June 2, 2009 14:47


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At least 61 prospectors have been found dead in an abandoned gold mine, police said Tuesday, but the tragedy was unlikely to deter others from seeking riches in South Africa's hazardous network of tunnels and shafts. The bodies were found by other illegal miners, who brought 36 to the surface over the weekend, according to Harmony Gold mining company, which had ceased working its Eland shaft. Another 25 bodies left at drop-off points underground were brought up on Tuesday, said Tom Smith, chief of operations for Harmony's southern region. Police called on relatives to help identify the victims, and said they were investigating what might have caused the deaths.

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