A gas explosion in an abandoned coal mine has killed six people in South Africa, BBC reports.
It is reported that about 20 others are still trapped at the Gloria coal mine in Middelburg, east of the capital, Pretoria.
According to police spokesman, some people had gone into the mine to steal copper wires when a gas pipe exploded.
Local media said rescue efforts were being hampered by dangerously high levels of toxic gas.
“We’re still waiting for engines and generators to arrive to start putting oxygen into the ground”, local government official Speedy Mashilo told South Africa’s national broadcaster SABC .
Mashilo said that engineers would join the rescue efforts by rigging up lighting in the mine shafts.
The mine was closed after its owners, the Gupta brothers, found it difficult to continue doing business in South Africa following corruption allegations against them.
South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has become embroiled in the allegations. Both parties have denied any wrongdoing.