The bodies of six miners have been recovered from a pit in central Slovakia, after an underground explosion which is feared to have killed 14 other men. A major rescue operation was launched at the pit in Handlova, northeast of the capital Bratislava, but no-one is thought to have survived.
The victims had been tackling a fire in an unused part of the mine about 330 metres below the surface when it is thought trapped gases exploded.
Relatives gathered at the pithead hoping for a miracle, but were told there is little chance of bringing anyone out alive. Nine other miners managed to escape what is already Slovakia’s worst-ever mining accident.