Thirteen miners killed in coal mine explosion

Thirteen people are confirmed dead and ten injured after a methane gas explosion erupted in a black coal mine close in the north-east of the Czech Republic Thursday afternoon.

The accident occurred 800 meters (2,625 feet) below the surface at the OKD’s ČSM mine in Karviná District near the Polish border.

According to the OKD, 12 out of the 13 victims were Polish nationals.

Flammable gases – particularly methane – have long made coal mining one of the most dangerous occupations.

OKD, which runs the mine, is controlled by the Czech state. It is the only producer of hard coal in the Czech Republic with an annual production of around 5 million tonnes from its mines. OKD extracts its coal in the southern part of the Upper-Silesian Coal Basin – in the Ostrava-Karviná coal district.