Rescue workers race to save 5 missing coal miners in Poland

2018-05-06 17:07
A woman is seen crying in front of the Zofiowka coal mine in Jastrzebie-Zdroj in Poland. (Rafal Klimkiewicz, AP)

A woman is seen crying in front of the Zofiowka coal mine in Jastrzebie-Zdroj in Poland. (Rafal Klimkiewicz, AP)

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More than 200 rescue and support workers were pressing on Sunday to reach five miners trapped after authorities said an earthquake hit a coal mine in southern Poland.

The head of the Jastrzebie Coal Company, Daniel Ozon, said the rescuers were 30m from one miner whom they spotted late on Saturday.

They need to pump air in and lower the level of methane gas there before they can safely move in and reach the man, who is trapped under some metal and is not reacting, he said.

The rescuers still need to locate and reach four other missing miners stuck 900m underground. So far there has been no contact with them.

The rescue was launched at 11:25 on Saturday after a quake hit the Zofiowka coal mine in the town of Jastrzebie-Zdroj near Poland's border with the Czech Republic.

Four miners were rescued quickly but seven others miners went missing. Two of the missing were later found alive and have been hospitalised.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who came to Jastrzebie Zdroj on Saturday night, has visited the hospitalized miners and met with their families.

Authorities have launched an investigation into the accident.

Poland's State Mining Authority said the temblor had a magnitude of 3.4, while the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre pegged it at 4.3. TVN24 said the quake was also felt on the surface and shook some houses.

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