Deadly Explosion in Slovakia mine
- BBC News
Page last updated at 23:46 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 00:46 UK
Deadly explosion in Slovakia mine
Six miners are dead and hopes are fading for 14 others after an explosion
at a coal pit in Slovakia.
Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek said the other 14 missing miners had
been trapped underground for more than 10 hours and were probably dead.
The blast occurred at Handlova, 200km (125 miles) north-east of the
capital, Bratislava. Prime Minister Robert Fico said it was "an immense tragedy".
A build-up of flammable gases caused the explosion, officials said.
Rescue teams found six dead bodies after battling high temperatures and
poor visibility to try to reach the site, which is about 330m (1,000ft)
The economy minister said: "The rescuers found six bodies 65 metres (71
yards) from the epicentre of the explosion. They couldn't get any further as
the conditions in the mine do not support life.
"All victims probably died at the moment of explosion," he added.
The prime minister said late on Monday at the site of accident that the
government would meet on Tuesday to declare a period of national mourning.
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