Gloria coal mine
Rescue operations resume this morning at Gloria Coal Mine in Middelburg, Mpumalanga

Rescue operations will resume today at the Gloria coal Mine in Middleburg, Mpumalanga in an attempt to reach at least 20 illegal miners who are still trapped.

Efforts to reach them were suspended Sunday night because of the methane gas underground. On Saturday, extraction fans were put in place to remove toxic gas inside the shaft.

Seven bodies were recovered at the mine on Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths to 13.

Gloria Coal Mine business rescue practitioner Mike Elliot says: “Round about 23pm last night we encountered a high levels of methane gas and we pulled back. We have been installing ventilation to clear the area of methane. We have welded this bigger fan into place.”

It is believed that those trapped entered the mine illegally, allegedly to steal copper cables.