Five people died and seven were trapped in JSW’s Pniowek coal mine, in Pawlowice, southern Poland, the largest in the country, close to the Czech border, after a methane explosion which occurred Wednesday overnight at a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). 21 miners were transported to hospital. Most of the injured suffered from burns. Doctors at the Siemianowice Slaskie hospital said some of the victims were suffering life-threatening burns to their lungs and large parts of their bodies.13 teams were involved in the rescue but the rescue operation had been put on hold temporarily by a second explosion in the mine. Contact with some of rescuers has been lost during the operation, mine authorities added.A rescue worker died. “The whole of Poland has deep compassion and sorrow for what happened,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. An investigation into the cause of the explosions is underway. Poland relies on coal for most of its power.
Most coal mines are located in the southern Silesia region.Warsaw has announced it is attempting to end coal imports from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Coal producer Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa, or JSW, has planned to produce 14.5 million tons of coal this year. Its shares dropped 1.1% Wednesday.