Death toll up to 12 in mine accidents in Poland; 11 missing

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The death toll from two coal mine accidents last week in southern Poland has risen to 12 after the bodies of two missing miners were found at a mine and another worker at a separate mine died of his injuries, he said. authorities Monday.

The discovery of the two bodies means that at least six miners were killed during Saturday’s quake and methane emissions at the Borynia-Zofiowka mine. Rescue workers are still searching for four other missing miners.

Also, a miner injured by methane blasts on Wednesday at the Pniowek mine died at the hospital on Sunday, said the company Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa (JSW), which operates both mines in Poland’s southern Jastrzebie-Zdroj region close to the Czech border.

His death brings the number of repeated explosions at the Pniowek mine to six. The search for seven Pniowek miners still missing was suspended after several methane blasts injured 10 rescue workers on Thursday. Teams are building two solid partitions to close off the blast from the rest of the mine for safety reasons.

In addition to the victims, dozens of miners were injured, many of them hospitalized with burns.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said it was a “black week” for the nation’s coal industry, which employs nearly 80,000 miners, and said the families of the victims would receive state aid. He was speaking when he visited the central mining rescue station in Bytom in southern Poland.

Prosecutors have opened investigations into the accidents, and Morawiecki said experts will check conditions and procedures at both mines. Most Polish coal mines are located in southern Silesia, and many have a high presence of methane in the rock.

About 70% of Poland’s energy comes from coal, a share that has been sharply criticized by the EU and environmental groups, who are concerned about CO2 emissions and meeting climate targets.

Poland has tried to scale down its use of coal. Morawiecki recently said that Poland has stopped coal imports from Russia and its ally Belarus in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Poland has for years reduced its dependence on Russian energy sources.


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