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34 miners trapped after Bosnia quake

05 September 2014, 08:11

Sarajevo - Thirty-four miners remained trapped inside a Bosnian coal mine on Friday after an earthquake triggered a gas explosion and caved in two tunnels.

"Of 56 miners that were in the mine, 22 made it back to the surface and 34 are still in the affected zone," said Esad Civic, manager at the Raspotocje mine in Zenica.

"We are communicating with them. They are doing well and have enough clean air to wait for the arrival of rescue teams."

He said two tunnels had collapsed. Earlier reports said only eight people were trapped.

The miners are in a tunnel that was not affected by the gas explosion, around 600m underground, according to union leader Mehmed Oruc.

Two miners were injured in the blast and have been taken to hospital in the town of Zenica.

A 3.5-magnitude quake hit at 1430 GMT 53km northwest of the capital Sarajevo, national BHRT television reported.

"The rescuers are deploying superhuman efforts to save their comrades. We have just spoken with them. They confirmed they are all together and doing well," said Nermin Niksic, regional prime minister.

No other major damage was reported from the earthquake.



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