A gas explosion in a coalmine in Silesia, Poland, has killed at least a dozen miners and 15 have been severely injured. Fires raged through the galleries following the blast.
The Wujek mine is close to the industrial city of Katawice, which rang with the sound of sirens after the explosion as emergency services rushed to and from the scene. “There was an explosion years ago, but my husband was lucky and he was not there. It is the first time,” said one woman waiting outside the mine. “My son is alive and I am very happy. My son called me and told me to come. He could not say anything more. I am sorry I can’t speak,” added another. A group of some 30 miners was briefly trapped underground and reported missing, but they were able to get to the surface by their own efforts. It is the worst mining accident in the country since 2006, when 23 miners died in a similar explosion caused by a methane gas pocket. A trial is ongoing of several of that mine’s managers for negligence. The danger area has been cordoned off, and work continues in other parts of the mine.