Quake traps miners in Poland; three found

Quake traps miners in Poland; three found

Troy Powers
May 6, 2018

A spokeswoman for a coal mining company says seven miners are missing after a tremor occurred at a mine in southern Poland. One of them has been located but was not rescued yet, a mining official said Sunday.

He said the third miner was buried and that it was not yet possible for rescuers to confirm he was dead. In the rescue operation involved more than 200 people, who change frequently due to lack of oxygen and the need to work in oxygen masks. Emergency workers pumped air into the affected area to lower the level of methane gas before they can safely move ahead, Ozon said. Four miners had been recovered quickly but seven the others went lost.

The two rescued miners were taken to a hospital in Jastrzebie-Zdroj city in "relatively good condition" and could walk unaided, JSW Chief Executive Daniel Ozon told reporters.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who reached the mine on Saturday evening, said the rescue operation was very hard and that he hoped the remaining miners would be saved.

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One miner was killed after an natural disaster struck the Zofiowka coal mine in southern Poland on Saturday, the CEO of the company that owns the mine has confirmed, according to Reuters.

An investigation into the incident is still underway.

The State Mining Authority said the tremor had a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale. TVN24 said the quake was also felt on the surface and shook some houses. Coal mining is a major industry in Poland, and the resource is the main source of energy and heating in the country. Rescuers are working to free another trapped miner, while three others remain missing.

Still many of Poland's mines are unsafe, with methane gas that has led to a number of deadly explosions and cave-ins. At the same time, the search continues for the four miners whose fate is unknown.