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UPDATE Coal mine explosions kill 12, injure 14

de Radu Rizea
Duminică, 16 noiembrie 2008, 12:33 English | Top News

Eight miners and four members of the recue team were killed by two consecutive explosions in the Romanian coal mine Petrila. Other 14 miners were injures, six of them being in a critical stage. Recue teams managed to recover four bodies so far.

The first explosion took place on Saturday, at noon, at a 950 meters depth, due to methane gas accumulation. A second explosion occurred during the evening, killing or injuring members of the recue teams. An official in the Health Ministry says that it is possible for other 16 - 19 people to be captive in the galleries.

Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu sent the Economy Minister, Varujan Vosganian, to Petrila, in order to put up an investigation team. President Traian Basescu also went to the site, visiting the injured miners in the hospital.

Update:  Four bodies were pulled out from the mines by a rescue team. Six of the miners hospitalized in Bucharest are in a critical condition. Prosecutors investigate the board of the Mining Company. Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian decided to suspend the board of the Petrila Mining Company.

Prosecutors launched an investigation and on Monday they talked with the leadership of the mines. The victims' relatives declared that the mine was clearly an unsafe working area but the miners were forced to enter, threatened that they will lose their jobs otherwise, Romanian television news Realitatea TV informs.

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