South Africa miners
South Africa miners

Three miners who have been trapped in an abandoned gold mine in the South African city of Johannesburg since Wednesday have emerged alive.

According to BBC report, the men fled the scene as soon as they came out fearing they would be arrested for illegal mining, police said.

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Others though remain trapped. It is not clear how many are stuck as the site is a popular location for illegal mining.

On Sunday four miners were rescued from the shaft, which is Johannesburg’s oldest.Rescue workers say the only way to reach the miners is to crawl through 1.5km (0.9 miles) of small tunnels.

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But operations have been halted and the mine cordoned off after a fire broke out on Sunday.

Those that crept out of the mine were helped by an accomplice, who told them no police were there and it was safe to emerge, reported.

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Illegal mining is rife in South Africa, a major producer of gold and platinum. It can be punished with fines and prison sentences.