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Coal miners trapped after Bosnian earthquake

Around 29 workers rescued and five feared dead after quake causes gas explosion and two tunnels to collapse.

Last updated: 05 Sep 2014 11:45
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Two miners, who were injured in the blast, have been taken to hospital in Zenica [Source: Andalou Agency]

Twenty-nine coal miners inside a central Bosnian mine have been rescued and five remain missing after an earthquake triggered a gas explosion and caved in two tunnels.

According to Al Jazeera's sister website Al Jazeera Balkans and other agencies, the five miners are feared to be dead. 

Rescuers at the scene said they feared three of the miners had died, while Sinan Husic, head of the regional miners union, said the death toll could be five.

The miners were in a tunnel that was not affected by the gas explosion, around 600 metres underground, according to union leader Mehmed Oruc.

families of the trapped miners and medical personnel are currently gathered outside the mine [Source: Andalou Agency]

Two miners were injured in the blast and have been taken to hospital in Zenica.

Al Jazeera Balkans notes that families of the trapped miners and medical personnel were gathered outside the mine and are waiting for more information.

There are about 20 metres more of collapsed tunnels that rescuers and technicians have had to dig to reach the miners, who had been there more than 16 hours.

A 3.5-magnitude earthquake hit at 14:30 GMT, 53km northwest of the capital Sarajevo, BHRT television reported.

"The rescuers are deploying superhuman efforts to save their comrades. We have just spoken with them. They confirmed they are all together and doing well," Nermin Niksic, regional prime minister, said earlier during the day.

No other major damage was reported from the earthquake.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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