Three children drown in abandoned mine in South Africa

The three children's bodies were retrieved from the water at the illegal mine (Reuters)

Police say three children were found dead in an illegal mine in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Investigators believe the children all drowned in the flooded mine.

The three children’s bodies were retrieved from the water at the illegal mine (Reuters)

Police spokesman Captain Mamphaswa Seabi said that the parents of the three boys, aged between seven and nine, began looking for them when they failed to return home on Sunday evening after they had been playing in the area at around 10:00 in the morning.

“They searched the area and proceeded to the illegal mine hole which was filled with water due to the recent rains that fell in the area,” Saebi said while speaking to local News24.

“On arrival, they were met by the sight of their children’s clothes next to the ‘dam’ and started anticipating that the worst might have happened,” he added.

The distraught parents contacted police, and the bodies of the children were later retrieved from the site.

Just this week, an 11-year-old boy’s lifeless body was recovered from Revhumbwe River in Malamulela policing area, Giyani Cluster, Seabi said.

“The provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, is concerned about the loss of these young lives and has urged parents to look after their children and strongly caution them against swimming in water-filled holes.”

The general warned communities to “desist from engaging in illegal mining by digging up holes and leaving them unclosed as this poses a hazardous environment to people, especially children”