Kleinzee Namaqualand — 28 May 2012 – De Beers says that the coordinated rescue and recovery operation underway at Bontekoe in Namaqualand will continue until all illegally excavated tunnels are found and searched for survivors or deceased diggers.
Revealing this here, a De Beers press statement said that by Saturday night ten deceased diggers had been recovered from the collapsed tunnels. One digger had been rescued and eleven diggers reportedly escaped from the collapsing tunnels.
The collapsed tunnel discovered earlier by the rescue team was cleared of all overburden so that mining could then proceed towards what is reported by diggers to be another tunnel in the network. This work will continue until the tunnel is intersected. The tunnels are not a part of a previously worked underground mine. They were excavated illegally at the site – on the boundary fence of Namaqualand Mines and State land.
The rescue area is under the command of the SAPS.