An explosion ripped through a coal mine in western Romania, killing five miners at a depth of some 400 metres (1,000 ft) below ground, authorities said late on Saturday.
A rescue team found the bodies of the miners, between 30 and 35 years old, who had been working to repair a power transformer, Dan Buhaescu, mayor of the town of Uricani, was quoted as saying by news agency Agerpres.
Mining was once a thriving industry employing almost half a million people in Romania and miners were a feared political force in the 1990s. But the industry has struggled to compete against cheaper Russian coal and to keep customers in a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly age.
The cause of the explosion, the most serious accident in the Romanian mining industry since 13 workers were killed after an explosion in late 2008 in the Jiu Valley, was still being investigated.
ReutersLast Mod: 06 Şubat 2011, 15:31