Five miners died and eight were unaccounted for after a methane explosion at the CSM hard coal mine in the east of the Czech Republic on Thursday, the mine’s operator OKD said.
A company spokesman said eight others were injured in the blast, which caused devastation in some underground work areas with poor visibility obstructing the efforts of rescue units.
State-owned OKD operates shafts in the Karvina region near the Polish border. Spokesman Ivo Celechovsky said the explosion took place about 800 meters (875 yards) under the surface after 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) on Thursday.
“The death toll has grown to five, eight miners are missing and 10 miners, mostly Polish, were injured,” he said. “Rescue works are continuing.”