October 6, 2017 / 5:37 AM / 11 days ago

One miner dies in cave-in at coal mine in Romania

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - 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 percent of Romania’s power plants, but most of it is lignite, which is softer than hard coal and is dug in open pits.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Nick Macfie

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