Nine bodies found after Slovakia mine blast
Nine bodies have been recovered from a Slovak coal mine following a fire and explosion, and 11 other people are also believed to have died, authorities said today.
Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek said rescue workers initially found six bodies in the Handlova mine in central Slovakia. Mine director Peter Cicmanec said a further three bodies were later found as rescue units, engineers and medics battled high temperatures to reach the scene.
Mr Jahnatek said it was unlikely any of the 20 people missing in the mine survived.
After an emergency session of his government Prime Minister Robert Fico said tomorrow would be an official day of mourning. He said the government was planning to compensate relatives of the victims.
The explosion, caused by gases released in the fire, occurred in an old shaft about 330 metres below the surface.