Hope fades for three gold miners trapped underground in South Africa

Rescue operations at South Africa’s Lily mine have entered its sixth day with still no sight of a lamp room metal container in which three miners remained trapped since Friday morning.

According to operator, Australia-based Vantage Goldfields (ASX:VGO), the last time rescuers made audio contact with the workers was at 1pm local time Tuesday, but a signal sent two hours later was inconclusive.

Rescuers removed Wednesday more than 550 tonnes of rock and debris, but still haven’t spotted the metal container in which the three workers are trapped.

Electronic equipment had revealed earlier that rescue teams were drilling in the right direction, but big rocks continue to hamper smooth operations underground, Mike Begg, the mine manager, told Eyewitness News. (Watch video below)

Families and community members have praying inside the mine, hoping for a miracle.

Pretty Mabuza, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyarenda were trapped on Friday, when the lamp room where they were on duty collapsed into an 80-metre hole. Other 87 miners were at the mine at the time of the incident. All of them were rescued alive the same day.

South Africa, which has several gold, platinum, diamond and coal pits, has been dogged by several mining accidents recently.

Four miners were killed in an underground fire in a platinum mine near Johannesburg last month.