New blasts at Polish coal mine halt search for 7 missing

Apr 22, 2022, 4:57 AM | Updated: 12:03 pm
An airborne ambulance waiting for some of the 10 rescuers injured by new methane explosions at the ...

An airborne ambulance waiting for some of the 10 rescuers injured by new methane explosions at the Pniowek coal mine while seeking for seven people missing after initial blasts there the day before, in Pawlowice, in southern Poland, Thursday night, April 21, 2022. Following Thursday explosions the search for those missing was suspended doe to the danger of more blasts in the area. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — New blasts at a Polish coal mine injured 10 rescue workers and forced authorities on Friday to suspend the search for seven coal miners and rescuers still missing after deadly methane explosions earlier this week, officials said.

The initial explosion took place shortly after midnight early Wednesday and was followed by another one hours later, about 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) underground at the Pniowek mine in Pawlowice, near the Czech border. Authorities said the two blasts killed five workers, left seven missing and injured dozens.

On Thursday night, new explosions injured 10 rescue workers who were trying to create safe conditions for the search for the seven missing men. Authorities then decided to pull all rescue teams out and seal off the area of the repeated blasts at the mine, where the missing are believed to be, with a dam.

Tomasz Cudny, the head of the mine operated by the JSW company, said it was a “very difficult decision” to halt the search but it was taken out of concern for the well-being of rescue workers.

“It would be very risky and very irresponsible to send them to such a dangerous area,” Cudny said.

Seven people were hospitalized after Thursday’s blasts, three of them in serious condition.

A dam is to be built within days to temporarily seal off the zone of the blasts from the rest of the mine for safety reasons, but also to help improve the atmosphere and the security conditions in that zone, a spokesman for JSW, Slawomir Starzynski, told The Associated Press.

On Thursday, JSW said 25 people injured in the original explosions remained hospitalized, nine of them in very serious condition at a hospital that specializes in treating mine accident victims, especially those with severe burns.

The deaths and injuries make it the worst incident in the history of the coking coal mine, which was built in the 1960s.

Before the search for missing miners was suspended, JSW had said rescue crews were pumping air underground seeking to lower the methane levels and reduce the risk of further blasts.

Poland relies on its own coal and coal imports for almost 70% of its energy needs, drawing criticism from the European Union and environmental groups concerned about CO2 emissions and climate change. Most Polish coal mines are in the southern Silesia region.

The Polish government has been scaling down the use of coal and recently announced it would end coal imports from Russia by May, part of Poland’s drive to reduce its dependence on Russian energy in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

___

Follow all stories on climate change issues at https://apnews.com/hub/climate.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrives to meet with Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What’s the impact of a Russian debt default?

Russia is poised to default on its foreign debt for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, further alienating the country from the global financial system following sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine. A 30-day grace period on interest payments originally due May 27 expired Sunday. But it could take time to confirm […]
23 hours ago
Motorists wait in a queue expecting to buy fuel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, June 26, 2022. Sri L...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka sends 2 ministers to Russia for oil amid crisis

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka is sending two ministers to Russia to negotiate for fuel — one of the necessities that the Indian ocean island nation has almost run out of amid its ongoing economic crisis. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said two ministers are scheduled to leave for Russia on Monday […]
23 hours ago
A students joins Indigenous women in a rally to show support for the recent protests and national s...
Associated Press

Ecuador president cuts gasoline price amid Indigenous strike

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced a cut in gasoline prices Sunday that appeared to fall short of the reduction demanded by Indigenous leaders to end a strike that has paralyzed parts of the country for two weeks. The reduction cuts the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon. The Confederation […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Republican candidate for Illinois governor Richard Irvin speaks with employees during a tour...
Associated Press

What to watch in primaries in Colorado, Illinois, elsewhere

NEW YORK (AP) — Seven states are set to host primary elections Tuesday as the nation comes to terms with last week’s stunning Supreme Court ruling eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion. This week’s nominating contests could offer the first clues as to whether the political landscape has shifted. Abortion is particularly relevant in […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Andrew Giuliani, left, a Republican candidate for Governor of New York, is joined by his fat...
Associated Press

Andrew Giuliani invokes famous dad in bid for NY governor

NEW YORK (AP) — After 2020, Rudy Giuliani is not someone most politicians would summon to hold a news conference on their behalf. As the frontman of former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud, Giuliani made notorious appearances before cameras where he espoused baseless theories — once while doing an impression of actor […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Home prices, General Mills earns, consumer spending

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: HOME PRICE MONITOR A limited inventory of homes for sale coupled with strong demand has helped keep U.S. home prices climbing sharply. S&P’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index tracks the value of homes in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas. It […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
New blasts at Polish coal mine halt search for 7 missing