Underground rescue teams are trying to make contact with 19 coal miners, missing after an explosion at a pit in Slovakia. The owners of the mine said there had been a fire beforehand in an old shaft and shortly afterwards sensors monitoring the gas levels stopped working. Then there was a blast.
The colliery, in Handlova nearly 200 kilometres from the capital Bratislava, is owned and operated by Slovakia’s biggest coal-mining concern. Officials have lost contact with the group completely and have no idea what condition they are in. Nine other miners who managed to get out have been treated in hospital for non life-threatening injuries.