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    The death toll at the Zofiowka mine rises to six

    Six miners died in an accident at the Zofiowka coal mine in the southern Polish region of Silesia, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has announced while five miners were confirmed dead in another accident at the nearby Pniowek coal mine.

    “It was a black week for Polish mining, for Silesia and Poland,” Morawiecki said on Monday morning during a visit to the Central Mining Rescue Station in Bytom, south Poland.

     

    “Two more miners who suffered injuries in the Zofiowka disaster are dead, and that is six Zofiowka miners in total,” Morawiecki said.

     

    Despite such disasters happening less often compared to a dozen or so years before, “the current events have been particularly tragic,” the prime minister said.

     

    Morawiecki said the families of the dead miners from Pniowek and Zofiowka would receive government support.

     

    He also said the authorities would investigate the circumstances surrounding both disasters.

     

    Marcin Golebiowski, a director at the Zofiowka mine, said later on Monday morning that rescuers had reached two more missing miners but unfortunately they did not show any signs of life.

     

    The Zofiowka mine was hit by a tremor, accompanied by a methane discharge, at 3:40 a.m. on Saturday, some 900 metres underground, forcing dozens of workers to flee the mine. Ten miners, however, were unaccounted for at that time.

     

    On Wednesday, four miners and one rescuer were killed after two methane explosions in the nearby Pniowek coal mine. A fifth miner, who was badly burnt, died in hospital on Sunday night. Attempts to rescue seven miners trapped belowground have been abandoned due to further methane blasts.

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