A mining disaster in Spain has left six people dead and five others in hospital.
There was no explosion. It is thought victims were overcome by methane gas after a leak at the pit in the northwest of the country.
Distraught friends and family gathered at the site in Santa Lucia near the city of Leon.
It is Spain’s worst mining accident in 18 years.
“The fire brigade went in but there is less than one percent of oxygen in the area where the gas leak occurred so no-one can stay there until it is completely ventilated,” UGT union official José Antonio Colinas told reporters.
Media reports suggest the victims were employees of a subcontractor working at the nearly 700 metre deep privately-owned pit.
It is the latest devastating blow to Spain’s struggling coal mining industry. Last year, miners went on strike in protest at the reduction of state subsidies, amid the government’s austerity programme.