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Mine blast kills eight in Serbia

BELGRADE (AFP) – At least eight miners were killed and more than a dozen injured following an explosion at a coal mine in southern Serbia, state media reported yesterday.

The explosion occurred at around 6am local time, causing the mine to collapse near the town of Aleksinac, according to Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).

“We have so far hospitalised 18 injured miners. Three of them are in serious condition,” said the director of the Aleksinac hospital Goran Vidic.

Two miners were also being treated in the nearby city of Nis, RTS reported.

At the time of the accident, at least 49 miners were believed to have been working in the mine.

First responders dispatched to the scene managed to rescue about a dozen people, however, several remained trapped, according to RTS.

The Aleksinac region is an important mining basin in Serbia, where the energy sector remains heavily reliant on coal for power.

The area has also been the scene of several similar tragedies in the past.