Rescue workers found on August 2 the bodies of the two miners that had been trapped in the collapse of the Oranovo coalmine in south-western Bulgaria on July 16, Bulgarian National Television said.
The coalmine’s manager Valeri Manov said it was unclear whether the two miners were killed in the mine collapse, but said that it was likely that they were. The bodies were still half-buried and were expected to be extracted later in the day.
“I regret that this happened. This case is very similar to the incident in 2007. We will seriously analyse the mining operations,” Manov was quoted as saying. “It is a pity about the people and their families, but this could not have been prevented by human hands.”
Manov said that the mine will pay for the funerals of the two miners. He said he had no intention to resign because he was responsible for the continued operations of the mine and the lives of the other miners employed by it.
About 300 people are employed at the Oranovo mine. The collapse on July 16 was fourth major accident at the mine in the past eight years. Two other miners died in the accident, but their bodies were recovered on the day of the collapse.
In an unrelated incident on August 1, another man died inside the Oranovo mine after suffering a heart attack. Initially reported as a rescue worker, it later emerged that he was an electrician who went into another part of the mine to oversee the replacement of an electric motor.
Economy Minister Dragomir Stoynev said on August 1 that the latest death raised the question whether the mine continued working without having an approved operations plan for 2013. Stoynev also said that Oranovo owed 111 000 leva to the Budget in concession fees.
In reply, Manov said that the mine did not have an approved operations plan for this year, but neither was there an order to shut down operations.
(Photo: John Nyberg/sxc.hu)