The rescue operation is underway at the Bielszowice mine, where the miner is still trapped. – We are continuing the work related to the clearing of the excavation in order to reach it – said Tomasz Głogowski, spokesman for Polska Grupa Górnicza, on Sunday morning. The second buried miner was brought to the surface at night. He is in the hospital, but his condition is assessed as good by the doctors.
Around 0.30 am on Sunday, the rescuers reached one of the two injured miners. According to the spokesman of Polska Grupa Górnicza, Tomasz Głogowski, the man “was in a very limited, half-sitting, reclining position”. – He found himself in a certain niche in which he could survive until the rescue team reached him – said Głogowski.
He added that during the transport to the surface the man was conscious, “he was talking to rescuers all the time” and complained of pain in his leg and back. After he was taken to the surface, he was taken to the hospital of St. Barbara in Sosnowiec.
The state of health of a miner in a hospital
Tomasz Świerkot, the hospital spokesman, confirmed in an interview with TVN24 that the man was sent to the hospital aware and in good condition. He is in orthopedics.
– As part of the SOR, all tests were performed on him. He was treated, craniofacial trauma and a lacerated wound in the thigh area were diagnosed. At this point, the patient was transferred to the orthopedics ward, where he underwent surgery to treat the wound. He is already in consultation with the oral surgeon in the orthopedic ward. His life is not in danger, he is circulatory and respiratory efficient. He is recovering – said Świerkot.
The action was carried out “in very difficult conditions”
So far, there is no visual or voice contact with the other victim. – We re-locating with the help of apparatus to determine how far the other one is. The equipment showed that at a distance of about 10-11 meters from the place where the first victim was, a signal was coming from the second miner’s lamp. We are continuing the work related to the clearing of the excavation in order to reach it – said Tomasz Głogowski, spokesman for Polska Grupa Górnicza, on Sunday morning. During a press conference before 4 p.m., he said that this distance had decreased by about one meter to one and a half meters.
As the representatives of the mine point out, the action is difficult – the rescue teams throw the rocks by hand. They only use saws to cut through the metal parts of the housing and conveyor damaged by falling rocks. – The works are carried out in very difficult conditions. It can be said that this is centimeter by centimeter advancement with the full safety of the rescuers. It is difficult to say how long it will take – explained Głogowski.
– The work is carried out in the yard which is being sorted out. This space, which is created in order to get to the victim, has a minimum width. First of all, the space in which rescuers have to move is a problem, it is very limited – said the spokesman.
There are no ventilation hazards
He noted that the temperature in the mine is around 25 degrees and there is “satisfactory air flow”. – There are no ventilation or climate hazards – he emphasized.
Głogowski informed that two rescue teams were kept in the area where the works were carried out. “There are a total of six troops at your disposal downstairs.” These rescuers work in rotation for several or several dozen minutes. The works are being continued continuously – he assured.
Robert Wnorowski from the Central Mine Rescue Station in Bytom also talked about the course of the action. He stressed that you never know what is in the rubble.
– If at the moment mine rescuers are picking up this rubble with their hands, if it is only rock, coal, it can go quite smoothly. But remember that miners also use various types of machines, sometimes powerful, multi-ton machines, which are located in the excavation. And these machines were also crushed. Unfortunately, this means that you have to use various types of equipment. Professional mine rescuers from the Central Mine Rescue Service are equipped with such equipment – assured Wnorowski.
Shock in the Bielszowice mine
The shock occurred on Saturday (December 4) before 9 in the so-called traffic Bielszowice – part of the Ruda mine, belonging to Polska Grupa Górnicza, in the area of one of the mining walls 780 meters underground. As explained by Tomasz Głogowski, spokesman for Polska Grupa Górnicza, the incident took place at 8.52 in the area of longwall 001Z in seam 504. Its magnitude was approximately 2.5. The rescue operation began around 9.30 am.
Underground – in the quake area – there were seven miners who were carrying out maintenance work. They started the shift at 6.30. There was no mining carried out there. The seven employees previously reported by PGG worked in the entire mining area, and there were three in the immediately affected area. One of the miners, a foreman, managed to retreat unharmed. Two miners were wanted and there was no contact with them. They are locksmiths – one is 31 and the other is 42. Their families were notified about their search.
The extraction of the first of the wanted miners
After 7 p.m., the spokesman of Polska Grupa Górnicza announced that the rescuers had made visual and voice contact with one of the two wanted miners. As reported, he was battered but conscious. – He managed to hand over a blanket and water. Eye contact is very limited, but the employee’s account shows that he can see the rescue workers’ lamps, said a PGG spokesman.
Earlier, after 4 p.m., the vice-president of PGG for production, Rajmund Horst, told journalists that the emergency services had managed to locate the signals from the missing lamps. – They are about 10-20 meters from where the rescuers reached. This is quite positive news. There are two signals coming from the lamps of the two miners. We know the direction in which we should work in order to reach the victims, said Horst.
This meant a change in the way the rescue operation was conducted. Initially, the rescuers tried to reach the injured from both sides of the dump, but in the new circumstances the rescue teams were shifted to one side. – The action is difficult, the rescuers move several centimeters per hour. Unfortunately, there is no visual or voice contact with the miner. Families are in contact with the mine – said Głogowski.
A spokesman for PGG previously informed that rescuers from the mine and from the Central Mine Rescue Station are working on site. The rescue operation is managed by the mine director.
– After the tremor in this area, communication was interrupted, the air flow decreased – said the dispatcher of the WUG.
Mine representative: a rock embankment was found
Before 2 p.m. Głogowski informed that “after the initial penetration of this area, a rock embankment was found in the distance of 50-60 meters”. – In total, there are six rescue teams there, or about 30 rescuers. These are the groups from the Bielszowice mine, from the surrounding mines and the Central Mine Rescue Station in Bytom – he said.
The prime minister is in contact with the Silesian voivode
Prime Minister Morawiecki said on Facebook that he is in constant contact with the Silesian voivode on this matter.
“I have received information about the shock in the Bielszowice mine in Ruda Śląska. A difficult rescue operation is underway, because there are two people trapped underground. I am in constant contact with the Silesian voivode, Jarosław Wieczorek. I will keep you informed about the course of the action” – the prime minister wrote.
Mining industry representatives note that although in recent years there have been serious accidents in mines in front of Barbórka, they do not remember that they happened on the mining festival itself. On Saturday, the Miner’s Day celebrations are planned in many places in the region – similarly to the previous year, more modest due to the pandemic.
Main photo source: TVN24