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Three dead, eight missing in Polish coal mine accident

WARSAW (AFP) – Three people were killed and eight more are missing following two suspected gas explosions in a coal mine in southern Poland yesterday, the company in charge of the mine said.

“The terrible toll… in the Pniowek mine in Pawlowice is now three dead,” the company, JSW, said in a statement. Company chief Tomasz Cudny earlier told PAP news agency that 21 people had been injured.

“We have no contact with eight people who were working there,” he said. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed his condolences and will travel to the area.

The company said that a first blast occurred shortly after midnight at a depth of 1,000 metres.

There were 42 miners in the area where the explosion happened and many of them suffered burns.

A second explosion occurred while rescue workers were assisting the victims of the first blast.

In a statement at 0730 GMT, the company also said that the search for the missing had been suspended because of the difficult conditions underground.