The mixed dying toll from accidents at two coal mines in Silesia in southern Poland now stands at 11, with some miners nonetheless unaccounted for.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki introduced this morning that two extra miners had died following Saturday’s tremor on the Zofiówka mine, bringing the variety of fatalities there to 6. Final Wednesday and Thursday, methane explosions on the close by Pniówek mine resulted in 5 deaths.
Each coal mines, separated by simply 6 kilometres, belong to the majority-state-owned JSW group, which is the EU’s largest producer of high-quality exhausting coking coal and one in every of Poland’s greatest employers.
This has been a “darkish week” for Polish mining, the Silesia area and Poland, Morawiecki mentioned throughout a go to to the Central Mines Rescue Station. However he additionally famous that rescue missions are wanted much less incessantly now than they have been a decade or so in the past.
“These occasions have been particularly tragic,” he mentioned, quoted by Polsat Information, thanking the miners for his or her “sacrifice and braveness”, “all the time following their mates from the mining fraternity with out hesitation to avoid wasting lives”.
5 miners died this week following a separate accident on the Pniówek coal mine https://t.co/ShA466YY8J
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The tremor at Zofiówka, inflicting an outflow of methane, occurred at 3:40 a.m. at 900 metres beneath the floor. Of the 52 staff within the neighborhood on the time, 42 managed to flee. Rescue groups discovered 4 miners lifeless on Saturday night.
This accident didn’t contain any explosions, in contrast to the occasions at Pniówek, the place 5 deaths have been attributable to methane explosions on Wednesday. Additional blasts the following day hospitalised 10 emergency staff – though their accidents weren’t life-threatening – inflicting the rescue operation to be suspended.
Morawiecki assured that checks shall be carried out instantly to substantiate whether or not the accidents have been “a really unlucky coincidence” or the results of any negligence. If the latter is the case, “then will probably be essential to take acceptable motion”
The spokesperson for the Gliwice public prosecutor’s workplace, Joanna Smorczewska, mentioned as we speak that authorized proceedings had been initiated concerning “bringing about an occasion endangering the life and well being of many individuals…by permitting mining works in an space liable to a methane tremor and outflow”, experiences Interia.
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Morawiecki additionally supplied his condolences to the households of the miners killed within the accidents, and pledged that the state would help them.
“In fact, this won’t deliver anybody again to life,” he mentioned. “However I wish to guarantee them that the state won’t go away anyone alone – the kids, households, wives, and family members of the miners who died at Zofiówka and Pniówek will obtain the care of the Polish state.”
Poland at the moment produces an estimated 90% of the EU’s exhausting coal. Round 70% of its home power manufacturing comes from coal, by far the upper determine within the EU. Nevertheless, in recent times the nation has come below growing political and financial stress to wean itself off coal and assembly the EU’s local weather targets.
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Predominant picture credit score: Flickr/KPRM (below CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Ben Koschalka is a translator and senior editor at Notes from Poland. Initially from Britain, he has lived in Kraków since 2005.