Five Miners Feared Dead After Earthquake Triggers Bosnia Gas Blast

Image: Miners stand in front of the Raspotocje coal mine in Zenica
Miners stand in front of the Raspotocje coal mine in Zenica, September 5, 2014. Thirty-four Bosnian coal miners were trapped half a kilometre underground on Friday after an earthquake triggered a rock burst, leaving rescue teams struggling to clear debris to reach them. Reuters

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Up to five workers were feared dead in a Bosnian coal mine Friday after a small earthquake triggered a gas explosion and a rock burst, rescuers and officials told Reuters. Emergency teams evacuated other miners who had spent more than 18 hours trapped underground.

Mine Manager Esad Civic said 29 miners had been rescued, among 34 who had been trapped more than 1,600 feet below the surface after Thursday evening’s collapse. Miners and rescuers at the scene told Reuters they feared three of the other miners had died, while Sinan Husic, head of the regional miners union, said the death toll could be five. This is the third accident in the same mine since the start of the year, according to The Associated Press. A total of 16 miners were hurt in two previous gas explosions, the most recent less than four weeks ago.


- Reuters and The Associated Press