A earthquake measuring between 3.5 and 4.0 in magnitude hit the Borynia-Zofiowka-Jastrzebie coal mine in Poland on Saturday, resulting in seven workers being trapped underground. The miners were trapped up to 900 meters underground (2,950 feet), with a 38-year-old miner being pinned under metal.
Two miners were found later on Saturday, with a 38-year-old found pinned under metal, and another miner found a couple of hours later under some rubble. These two miners were reported to have little injuries, and were transported to a nearby hospital where they could walk unassisted. Unfortunately, two other miners died, with three more yet to be located.
Over 200 personnel are involved in the rescue operation, working to get broken machinery and metal out of the way. Fresh air is being pumped into the area where the remaining three miners are believed to be located, as the methane concentration at this point is a shocking 58 percent. Regulations around the world require methane to be lower than 2.5% at any given time. Fortunately, methane will only ignite at concentrations between 5 and 17 percent, however if the fresh air dilutes the methane too much, any spark could ignite it.
We’re hoping the remaining three miners will be found soon, and that their injuries are minor. The energy released by the earthquake on Saturday is equal to 40 percent of all the energy released by the 110,000 earthquakes since 1989 at the mine.