Bulgaria's Simitli Declares 3 Day Mourning for Dead Miners

Society | August 2, 2013, Friday // 11:39|  views

The Mayor of Bulgaria's southwestern town of Simitli, Apostol Apostolov, file photo by BGNES

The municipality of Simitli in southwestern Bulgaria has declared Friday three days of mourning for the five miners who died in the collapse of the nearby Oranovo coal mine.

The dead bodies of the two miners who were trapped inside since July 16 were found Friday.

Miners Ivan Lazarov, 35, and Nikolay Mihaylov, 42, were trapped 450 meters below the surface underneath an avalanche of mud, rocks and water.

Two other miners, Asen Stoynev, 41, and Hristo Mladenov, 45, died in the collapse as well, but their bodies were discovered on the very same day.

On Thursday, one miner died inside the mine from an apparent heart attack.

The proposal to have the official mourning came from the Mayor of Simitli, Apostol Apostolov, who visited at the scene of the incident regularly ever since the mine collapsed and tried to help the rescue team and the miners in any possible way.

The funerals of Mihaylov and Lazarov will be, most likely, held Saturday, but there is no official information on it yet.

Asen Grancharov, 49, who passed away from heart attack, was buried Friday.

After the two bodies were found, the mine's manager, Valeri Manov, held an emergency briefing for the media. He said that he believed the miners died immediately after the collapse on July 16 and did not suffer.

Manov also explained he felt responsible as manager for the safety of the workers, but did not feel guilty and was not going to resign.

This is the fourth major accident in the Oranovo mine in the past eight years. Union leaders said the reason for the collapse was poor safety standards.

Economy and Energy Minister, Dragomir Stoynev, has pledged to end the "vicious practices" at the Oranovo mine and bring to justice those responsible. He explained the concession might be revoked.

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Tags: Apostol Apostolov, mayor, coal, mine, Simitli, collapse, trapped, Dragomir Stoynev, Economy and Energy Minister, concessionaire, rescue, Krasimir Mihaylov, Georgi Kostov, Regional Directorate of the Interior Ministry in Blagoevgrad, Police Commissar, heart attack, Regional Directorate of the Interior Ministry in Blagoevgrad, Police Commissar, NOI, National Social Security Institute, Labor Inspectorate, Oranovo, search, Valeri Manov


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