Provincial police spokesperson, Motantsi Makhele, says the discovery was made at the 50th level station underground at Kopanang Mine in Vierfontein near Kroonstad. He says the deceased were however not employed at the mine.
Authorities spend the better part of yesterday underground to bring the bodies to the surface. Makhele adds their identity, age, gender and country of origin are unknown. It is suspected that they are illegal miners. “According to Kopanang Mine management all their employees are accounted for and are still present,” says Makhele. He further adds that the bodies were brought to the surface by the mine rescue team and were handed over to Kroonstad State Mortuary.
A postmortem will be conducted in Bloemfontein and possible samples of DNA will be taken to try to establish the identity of the individuals. An inquest docket will be opened while the investigation continues.