BUCHAREST – One miner died and another was in critical condition after an underground gallery caved in at the Lupeni State-owned hard coal mine in Romania, Energy Minister Toma Petcu said early on Friday.
The ceiling of the mining gallery caved in on Thursday afternoon, catching a team of 11 miners. Three were trapped and rescue teams worked through the night to get them out.
Of the three, one miner died and another was flown to a hospital in capital Bucharest in serious condition.
The Lupeni mine is one of four remaining hard coal mines in Romania's mountainous Jiu Valley, managed by state-owned power holding CE Hunedoara, which is underfunded and one of the biggest debtors to the state budget.
Coal fires about 40% of Romania's power plants, but most of it is lignite, which is softer than hard coal and is dug in openpits.