Masked hero saves miner

Spider-Man’s spider senses were on high alert on Sunday when he received a phone call notifying him three illegal miners needed to be rescued.

The trapped miners were presumed dead by rescuers, but Spider-Man knew otherwise.

The three illegal miners had entered the abandoned Durban Deep mine near Roodepoort in South Africa on Saturday and had collapsed after inhaling methane, iol.co.za reported.

On Monday night Spider-Man mobilised emergency services, but they were unable to enter mine without permission from the Department of Mineral Resources.

Knowing time was of the essence the super hero attempted his own rescue with a little assistance from a small cohort of illegal miners.

Spider-Man isn’t the illegal miner’s real name, like all good super heroes he wanted to hide his true identity.

Spider-Man and his rescue team attempted to reach the men, who were near shaft 10, but were driven back by gas.

“We tried to pull one of the guys out but the gas was too much, so we had to leave him,” said Spider-Man.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (JEMS) personnel were unable to enter the abandoned mine until about 4pm local time on Monday.

Rescuers were expecting it to be a body-recovery mission.

The illegal miners had been overcome by the gas on Saturday whilst working and had “simply fallen asleep”, a colleague said.

“They began choking, then fell asleep, lying on their sides,” said one of the illegal miners, who did not want to give his name.

Even though he had felt dizzy, this unnamed miner was able to escape.

Before any official rescue could begin, six members of the urban search-and-research unit were sent into the mine to ascertain the levels of gas, they discovered concentrations of methane.

The second stage of the operation was to send rescue teams down with stretchers.

But emergency rescuers needed guides to show them where the men were located.

Spider-Man instantly volunteered, he took the lead after grabbing a headlamp and some spare batteries.

When they got close to the trapped men, the team could see the illegal miners’ headlamps shining in the dark.

“One of the men raised his arm, and we knew he was alive,” said Spider-Man.

The rescue team urgently sent for a breathing apparatus.

“We were all surprised. They checked their vitals and found one of them was breathing,” said JEMS spokeswoman Nana Radebe.

The surviving miner was taken to nearby Leratong Hospital.

After successfully rescuing the injured man, Spider-Man headed off home for a night’s rest.

Yesterday, rescuers recovered the two dead miners, and Spider-Man wanted to be there to help guide them in.

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