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Illegal miners refuse to be rescued in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG--Emergency workers in South Africa cleared a mine shaft entrance of debris on Sunday, allowing miners who had been trapped below the chance to escape. The only problem was that the miners were working illegally at the abandoned mine, and some stayed underground because they feared arrest if they came out, according to officials.

At least 11 miners were escorted to safety at the mine in Benoni, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, but an undetermined number of their comrades were still in the gold mine, emergency responder Kobus Du Plooy said by telephone late Sunday.

Police were preparing to question those who came out about anyone left underground, local media reported.

After nightfall, some mine security officials remained at the site, but rescue workers had packed up and left, leaving behind a ladder in the shaft for those still below.

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