South African police are investigating the death of 15 suspected illegal miners killed in clashes this week.
It is understood that the group are from rival gangs who were working underground to mine gold in abandoned shafts.
Several police units and other law enforcement officers have been deployed to the Springs area, east of Johannesburg to monitor the situation.
Police say the victims were shot dead using different calibres of guns.
The authorities fear that the body count of the illegal miners known as “amazama-zama”, meaning those who hustle, will increase as they continue to work on scene.
The violence underground appears to be part of a growing problem, which the government and the mining industry are battling to cope with, says the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Johannesburg.
Johannesburg is dotted with disused mine shafts, which attract men from around the region, including Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, with the promise of discovering remaining gold deposits.