Methane blast kills 3 at OKD mine in Northern Moravia

Three miners were confirmed dead late on Thursday after methane ignition at OKD mine in Darkov. Emergency services transported two other with severe injuries to the University Hospital in Ostrava.

Flammable gases – particularly methane – have long made coal mining one of the most dangerous occupations. Once again, another fatal methane blast claimed victims at OKD black coal mine in Darkov, a town that is administratively a part of the city of Karvina. The accident occurred late Thursday shortly before 11 pm.

According to OKD spokesman, three people have died, and two other sustained serious injuries in the incident. The dead miners were 32, 38 and 39 years old.

The cause and course of the accident are being examined. Mining experts, representatives from the District Mining Authority in Ostrava, OKD management and trade unions lead the investigation with the cooperation of the police.

OKD is the only producer of hard coal in the Czech Republic with an annual production of around 8-9 million tonnes from 4 mines. OKD extracts its coal in the southern part of the Upper-Silesian Coal Basin – in the Ostrava-Karviná coal district.