The leader of a group of striking Sardinian miners has slashed his wrists in front of television cameras, shocking his work mates.
Stefano Meletti was eventually taken to a nearby hospital where doctors said his condition was stable.
Around 100 miners have barricaded themselves some 400 metres underground since Sunday in a bid to prevent the mine’s closure.
One worker said: “In the last 10 years we have lost 7,000 jobs in Sardinia. We are not willing to loose one more.”
The incident happened as journalists were shown where the miners are storing hundreds of kilos of explosives.
On Friday, the government is to give its decision over whether to approve an eco-friendly plan to convert the mine, which could secure its future. Until then, the miners say they will remain underground.