Seven miners are in critical condition Tuesday after an underground fire at a coal mine in southern Poland left 29 injured and one missing, local media reported.
The fire occurred 665 metres underground at the Myslowice-Wesola coal mine following reports of a methane gas explosion on Monday evening, according to Polish television station TVN 24.
“Some of the men have as much as 80 per cent of their skin burnt,” said Mariusz Nowak, the leader of a burn victim clinic where 18 of the miners are being treated.
Treatment of the burn victims will last months, and many of the men will need skin transplants.
A spokesman for mining company Katowicki Holding Weglowy SA said a rescue worker could not be sent to search for the missing miner due to high concentrations of gas at the accident site.
“They say they’re searching for him, but I have no hope,” the missing man’s father told Polish news agency PAP. “He was assigned to an area that had the most danger.”
Mining authorities and state prosecutors plan to take up an investigation into the cause of the accident.