February 22, 2015 / 7:33 PM / 3 years ago

Landslide kills four at Bosnian lignite mine

TUZLA, Bosnia (Reuters) - Rescuers recovered bodies of four men believed to be illegal miners 18 hours after a landslide at an opencast lignite coal mine at Dubrave in northeast Bosnia, police and officials said on Sunday.

“All four bodies were recovered and taken to the Tuzla hospital for autopsy,” Tuzla police spokesman Izudin Saric told Reuters . He added that police and mining experts will continue an investigation into the causes of the accident on Monday.

Mining inspector Nuraga Duranovic told state television the people were buried while illegally collecting coal from the surface pit, which was extensive and unsecured. In Bosnia many poor people collect coal illegally to make ends meet.

Nobody from the mine management was available to comment. Duranovic said the mine may close in the coming days because of poor conditions.

Accidents are frequent at Bosnia’s outdated coal mines. In September, five miners were killed after an earthquake triggered a collapse at the Raspotocje mine in central Bosnia.

The mine at Dubrave is part of the Kreka coal mines, which produce coal for Bosnia’s largest power utility, EPBiH.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by William Hardy

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