Traikov Scolds Utility, Mine for Threatening Workers' Lives

Energy | January 4, 2011, Tuesday // 21:07|  views

Traikov has scolded EVN and a mining firm for threatening the lives of 80 miners over unpaid debts. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov has summoned to a special meeting the EVN power utility and the Balkan 2000 Mine over an incident that trapped 80 miners underground.

On December 28, 80 employees of Mina Balkan 2000, a mining firm, remained underground as EVN cut off the power supply for the company over debts.

The power utility decided to provide the mining company with electricity for only 4 hours a day because of unpaid bills.

At the same time, however, the 80 miners were not warned, and got stranded underground; they had to be rescued through emergency shafts.

Back then EVN claimed that it had warned the management of Mina Balkan 2000 about the punitive measure.

"Unsettled intercompany debts must not threaten the lives of people," Traikov told the representatives of the two companies on Tuesday, describing the incident on Dec. 28 as "absurd" and demanding guarantees against its repetition.

The Economy Ministry said Traikov demanded a notification mechanism in case of similar disputes; at the same time, the management of Mina Balkan 2000 will be investigated by the labor inspectorate for failing to secure an alternative power sources for its mining operations in case of emergency.

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Tags: Traicho Traikov, mine, Mina Balkan 2000, miners, EVN, power utilities


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