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5-year-old boy trapped in SA mineshaft: Army joins retrieval efforts

5-year-old boy trapped in SA mineshaft: Army joins retrieval efforts

South Africa

Rescue officials in South Africa say there is a minimal chance of finding Richard Thole, the 5-year-old boy who fell into an unused mineshaft since last Saturday.

Rescue efforts started on Monday, almost two days after the incident which happened in Boksburg area in a local community known as Jerusalem.

“If… one wants to start looking at the time frame since Saturday, it’s almost five days now, so technically with the size of the shaft and the challenges we face, the chances of finding the child alive is minimal,” spokesperson for a rescue agency, William Ntladi, is quoted to have said.

I can't sleep at night just thinking about where my child is now. He is all alone in there.

The mayor of Ekurhuleni community where the mine is located on Wednesday called for the intervention of the South Africa National Defence Forces to help the efforts. The army has landed in the area to help with efforts as at Thursday morning. This gives a new life to operations which had previously been suspended temporarily.

Richard’s mother has said all she wants was the body of her boy in order to bury him, “I can’t sleep at night just thinking about where my child is now. He is all alone in there. When his friend came to tell us we saw the shock on his face. His eyes were wide open and red.

‘‘I can’t cope because it’s hurting to think my child is dead. I just want his body so that we can bury him,” she told TimesLive website.

Photo credit: Iavan Pijoos of @News24

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