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1 miner killed, 7 missing after copper mine tremor in Poland

Posted November 29

— One miner has died and seven are missing underground following a strong tremor that caused a cave-in Tuesday at a copper mine in southwestern Poland, a mining company spokeswoman said.

Jolanta Piatek, spokeswoman for the KGHM Polska Miedz, or Polish Copper, mining corporation, said that the tremor occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday some 1,100 meters (3.610 feet) underground in the Rudna mine, in Polkowice. Some 16 miners were in the area, she said. Nine of them were brought to the surface and hospitalized with injuries — one of whom died.

Three of those hurt were brought to a hospital in nearby Glogow with head injuries, but their injuries were not life-threatening, hospital spokeswoman Ewa Todorow said.

Piatek said six teams of rescuers were searching for the missing miners at the cave-in area.

In 2013, 19 miners trapped in the Rudna mine following a local tremor and cave-in were rescued with no major injuries.

KGHM has now lost seven miners this year in accidents in its mines.

Known as the Polish State Mining and Metallurgical Combine under communism, KGHM went through restructuring and partial privatization in 1991 as Poland shifted to a market economy. It has grown to be one of the world's major copper and silver producers. It also has mines in Chile, Canada and the United States.

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