Belgium has been commemorating the 50th anniversary of its worst mining accident. The Bois du Cazier Mine in Marcinelle near Charleroi was the scene of a tragic explosion and fire which killed more than 260 miners. Most of the victims were Italian immigrant workers. Others were from 12 countries including Belgium, Poland and Algeria.
The accident happened shortly after work began at dawn that day. A badly loaded wagon fell down a shaft breaking several beams, cutting power lines and sparking a fire. In some cases, all the men and boys of entire families perished more than 1,000 metres underground. The mine has now been turned into a memorial.