Image from K+S Group.

Image from K+S Group.

Three miners aged 24, 50 and 56 died at K+S Group’s Unterbreizbach mine in Germany after a blasting operation caused the leakage of carbon dioxide at 13:10. K+S expresses its heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved.

Four of the seven miners who initially went missing were rescued by a mine rescue team and two of them are still receiving medical treatment.

“This has had a profound impact on our more than 14,000 employees. We are in mourning together with the relatives of the miners who tragically lost their lives,” said Norbert Steiner, the chairman of the K+S Board of Executive Directors, speaking at the site of the accident in Unterbreizbach. Together with Christine Lieberknecht, the minister president of Thuringia, Steiner was briefed about the situation at the scene of the accident. He gave an assurance that support would be provided to the bereaved and thanked all the rescue workers for their efforts.

“This is a time for reflection,” said Steiner.

On October 1, 2013, three miners at the Unterbreizbach mine were killed at a depth of about 700 metres after a blasting operation caused the leakage of carbon dioxide. Four further miners could be rescued and they are now no longer receiving medical treatment.

The prosecution and the responsible mining office are continuing their investigations into precisely what happened.

Mining and other operations at the Unterbreizbach plant have been suspended until further notice. A mining rescue team is currently deployed at Unterbreizbach and is engaged in ventilating the shaft that was affected. The neighbouring Merkers mine, which is open to visitors, will remain closed for the time being. Preparations for further conservation work at the mine there have been stopped for now.

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