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Update3: Explosion at Uricani coalmine – One miner dead, 3 injured. Two rescuers intoxicated with smoke

One miner has died and three have been injured Monday morning following an accident at Uricani coalmine, most likely due to an explosion. Three of the miners are injured, one was missing in the early hours. According to Emergency Situation Inspectorate (ISU) spokesman Bogdan Dabaiata, the fourth victim was localised Monday morning.

Minutes later, State Secretary with the Interior Ministry Raed Arafat has informed that the fourth miner has died. He was 43.

Two of the rescuers’ team, who searched on Monday for the victims of the explosion have been intoxicatedwith smoke and are currently at the Emergency Hospital in Petrosani, a release from Uricani mine informs.

The General Emergency Situation Inspectorate (IGSU) said two of the miners will be taken from Uricani by helicopter to the Hospital for Burns in Bucharest. “Two of the three miners rescued will be taken to the Hospital for Burns by helicopter, it is the large helicopter MI8,” the source said.

The third rescued miner will be taken to Bagdasar Arseni Hospital in Bucharest, by the same helicopter.

Two of the miners have burns on the face, hands and legs and are to enter surgery.

“One of the victims has burns on 35-40% of the body, the second one on about 8%, on the face, hands and legs. The victims have respiratory burns as well,” Dr. Alin Vasilescu said, adding that the third miner is slightly injured.

The three injured have been taken first to Petrosani hospital and the rescuers were looking for the fourth victim, hotnews.ro informs.

According to information, the miners were conducting works at a depth of 450 metres and in the area was no electric power for a long time, in an airway gallery, Uricani Mayor Danut Buhaiescu said.

Trade union leader Laszlo Domokos said that most likely the explosion occurred due to a methane underground ignition. He further specified that the work in question is an older one, and the damming was made on the surface.

Energy Minister Toma Petcu has said on Monday, referring to the explosion at Uricani, that there were no electric cables in the area, so a short-circuit is out of the question, but checks are being conducted by a prosecutor investigation.

The minister has told digi24.ro that the mine was undergoing a closing down programme and is due to end exploitation by year end.

The accident takes place less than a month after the accident at Lupeni coalmine, following a gallery collapse. Three miners were caught underground in early October following a mining gallery collapse at Lupeni mine in Jiu Valley, with several rescue crews being called to the site. Two have been eventually saved after 12 hours, while a third one died. The two saved miners were conscious, but one of them is in serious condition and was transported to Floreasca Hospital in Bucharest. He died the next day.

After the collapse, 11 out the 14 miners managed to get out.

 

About Valeriu Lazar