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Coal mine collapse kills eight, injures 18 in Serbia

05 April 2022

Eight miners died and 18 others were injured on April 1 after a coal mine collapsed near the southern Serbian town of Aleksinac. The incident occurred at the Soko mine, around 155 miles (250km) south of Belgrade, where a collapse in an excavation chamber led to “a sudden penetration” of methane gas.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

According to Serbia’s Mining and Energy Ministry, there were 49 miners working at the mine at the time of the collapse at around 04:00 local time. None of the injured are reported to be in a life-threatening condition with most having suffered fractures or gas inhalation.

During a television appearance, the Assistant Minister of Mining and Energy Dejan Milijanovic said an investigation into incident is underway with the involvement of the mine inspection agency, police, and the prosecutor's office. Milinkovic said the Soko mine is one of the country’s high-risk mines and that it has the most modern equipment for methane detection. However, after the collapse, around 96% of the atmosphere in the mine was made up of methane, meaning the miners had no time to react before suffocating.
Milinkovic added that Serbia’s mining industry needed to undergo major changes to bring it into the 21st century, mainly through modernising equipment and technology, automating production, and improving the safety of miners.

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