19 Sep 2009

Fatal explosion in Polish coal mine

9:10 pm on 19 September 2009

Twelve miners have been killed in a methane gas explosion at a coal mine in Poland.

A spokesperson says 30 miners were taken to hospital. A number have severe burns and medical staff warned that the death toll may rise.

The BBC reports the blast occurred 1050 metres underground.

The explosion is thought to have been caused by the ignition of a pocket of methane gas.

President Lech Kaczynski has sent his condolences to the victims' families.

The mine is situated near the industrial city of Katowice in southern Poland.