Five miners feared dead after Bosnia rock burst

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Five Bosnian miners are feared dead after an earthquake triggered a rock burst.

Emergency teams helped around 30 others to reach the surface after an 18-hour ordeal trapped deep underground.

Several miners were stretchered to ambulances as soon as they emerged from the mine shaft, their faces blackened by coal dust. Others needed help to walk.

Thursday’s 3.5 magnitude earthquake hit the central Bosnian town of Zenica. Rocks in the mine fractured under the pressure, trapping the miners.

Anxious relatives waited for any sign of their loved ones. Some complained about the mine’s safety record.

There was a major accident here in 1982 when 39 miners died in a rock burst.

The mine was one of the best equipped in the region, before the collapse of the Yugoslav federation, but it had been damaged during the Bosnian war and not upgraded since.

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