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Hope Fades for S. Africa Miners

January 15, 2000

ORKNEY, South Africa (AP) _ Two days after rescuers extracted nine men from deep inside a gold mine, efforts continued today to find two remaining miners who had been injured.

``The rescue effort is progressing but it is slow work,″ said Margaret Heylen, spokeswoman for African Rainbow Minerals mining company. ``We haven’t made a breakthrough. It’s looking increasingly gloomy.″

Fifteen miners became trapped Monday when an earth tremor caused a rockfall in the gold mine, more than a mile below the surface. Nine miners who were rescued on Thursday were in good condition today. Four miners were killed.

The remaining two were seriously hurt in the rockfall. There has been no contact with them for days.

The rescue drama has captured national attention in a country where accidents kill hundreds of workers every year in some of the world’s deepest and most perilous mines.

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