Six miners die in a disastrous gas leak in Spain

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minerA gas leak, has killed 6 miners and injured 5 others yesterday in a northern Spanish coal mine.

The Castilla and Leon emergency service declared that the accident took place at the Santa Lucia Mine near the city of Pola de Gordon on Monday. The first observation shows that the gas spread so quickly that the 6 dead miners had no time to put on their protection masks. Five others have been transported to the hospital, ‘they are stable now’, officials said.

The accident occurred when the roof of the mine collapsed, and released methane in the tunnel. Methane has forever been the nemesis of the miners. This gas is a colorless and odorless gas which is not deadly in small quantities, but progressively replaces the oxygen in the air and in the red blood cells leading to death by asphyxia.

Jesus Gonzales, who is one of the miners on the site when the tragic accident occurred helped the rescue :  “Let’s go to section seven, the roof has collapsed” everybody was screaming. “I was taking out the stretchers to the street, they were coming out asleep without a single scratch. It was simply the methane displacing the oxygen, an overwhelming asphyxiation. One mouthful of that and that’s it, like birds.

Both federations have decided to call a 48-hour strike in all mining operations in the country as a symbol of respect, condolences and mourning for our workmates” said a joint report from the CCOO and the UGT.

The National Commission for Safety Mining has been urged to investigate on the reason of this dramatic accident.

Hugo Pascual, IEJ 3F

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