More than dozen injured in mining accident in Velenje

Velenje – Fourteen miners were injured as a stope collapsed at the Velenje coal mine on Monday, but they managed to get out of the pit by themselves. They all sustained light injuries and are recovering at home, Janez Rošer, the CEO of the mining company Premogovnik Velenje, told reporters on Tuesday.

According to Rošer, the miners mostly suffered injuries such as bumps, and some had twisted ankles, and there were also cases where they inhaled dust. They got medical attendance at the community health centre.

The collapse occurred in just one part of the pit. At the time there were a total of 150 miners inside the mine.

The CEO does not think the collapse affected the mine’s structure, but it will affect mining although it is not yet clear how long the work would have to be delayed.

He denied reports that the collapse was provoked by an earthquake. “The collapse is caused by mining, we had the last one last year when three miners were lightly injured. A stope collapse happens once or twice a year,” he said.

He does not think such events can be prevented, but they can be mitigated. The mine has a very good monitoring system that operates round the clock all year round, he added.

Earlier, the company said that, considering the nature of business, conducted 500 metres below the ground, unforeseen incidents and emergency situations were possible despite safety measures and monitoring in place.

The only functioning coal mine in the country, the Velenje mine is set to close as the country is planning to exit coal by 2033. Considering the energy crisis, the plans might change though.