July 12th, 2024

2 miners are missing, 10 injured and dozens being rescued in Polish coal mine accident

By The Associated Press on July 11, 2024.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Two Polish coal miners remain unaccounted for and at least 10 have been injured after a powerful tremor shook the Rydultowy coal mine about 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) underground on Thursday officials said, while rescuers struggle to reach dozens of others.

The cause of the tremor and its immediate effects inside the mine were not immediately clear.

“Some of these people are being brought to the surface, some have already been brought up and some have not yet been reached by the rescuers,” said Polish Coal Mining Group spokesperson Aleksandra Wysocka-Siembiga.

She later said that “one worrying information is that we have no contact with two miners at the moment,” while all the others have been accounted for and are in touch.

Wysocka-Siembiga said the accident took place at 8:16 a.m. The Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center noted a magnitude 3.1 tremor in southern Poland, near the Rydultowy mine at that time.

Officials said 68 miners were in the area at the time. Fifteen have been brought to the surface, including 10 who were hospitalized, officials said. Airborne ambulances and 10 teams of personnel were taking part in the rescue operation.

Łukasz Pach, head of the ambulance service in Katowice, the mining region’s main city, said the hospitalized miners were in stable condition.

Mass rock tremors in coal mines result from stress building in the rock and can lead to rock bursts, or sudden ejection of rocks into the corridors and tunnels, that can potentially be dangerous to miners in the area.

Two miners lost their lives in separate accidents in the Rydultowy mine in 2019 and 2020.

Opened in 1792, the Rydultowy mine currently employs about 2,000 miners.

Some coal mines in Poland are prone to methane gas explosions.

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