Bodies of five miners missing for over a year found

Rescuers have located the bodies of five of the seven miners missing since a deadly blast hit the Pniowek mine in April last year.

Sixteen miners and rescuers lost their lives when a series of methane explosions rocked the mine in the southern town of Pawlowice on April 20, 2022.

Out of 42 miners working in the area at the time of the blast, 21 required hospital treatment with most of them suffering from burns. Attempts to rescue the seven miners trapped below ground were abandoned due to further methane blasts.

Tomasz Siemieniec, a spokesman for Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa (JSW), the mine's owner, told PAP on Monday morning that five of the missing miners had been found.

"Due to the difficult conditions of the operation, moving the remains of the miners to the surface will take about 24 hours," he added.

Rescuers had reached the dead miners after spending months digging a new 350 metre-long tunnel. But they could not get to the pit face where the bodies of the other two victims are believed to be located.

"Unfortunately, it turned out that the conditions in the area do not allow a safe rescue operation," Siemieniec said.

He added that it could take about month to reach the bodies. 

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.