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The head of a mining company in southern Poland says rescuers can see another miner who went missing after a quake struck a coal mine, but four others are still to be located.

Relatives and friends gather as they wait for news regarding the miners who are reported missing after a quake hit the Zofiowka mine on May 5, 2018 in Jastrzebie-Zdroj, in the Polish southern Silesia region.

Some 200 miners involved in the rescue were working in sweltering heat around a kilometre (0.6 miles) beneath the surface to find the three missing miners after one was found dead.

The rescue operation was launched at 11:25 a.m. local time Saturday after a temblor occurred at the Zofiowka coal mine, said Katarzyna Jablonska-Bajer of the coal company. He had worked for the company for 10 years.

Rescuers are in constant contact with the families of miners in search of. Emergency workers pumped air into the affected area to lower the level of methane gas before they can safely move ahead, Ozon said.

Two had been rescued by mid-afternoon, and one was found late on Saturday but showed no signs of life, the deputy chief executive of the mine owner JSW, Tomasz Sledz, told reporters.

An investigation into the accident is underway.

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The State Mining Authority said the tremor had a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale. TVN24 said the tremor was also felt on the surface and shook some houses.

Coal mining is a major industry in Poland.

Coal is the main energy source in Poland with 65.5 million tonnes mined in predominantly state-owned mines the country past year.

The Main Statistical Office said some 58.7 million tonnes of coal were extracted previous year in Poland, some 4.8 million tonnes less than in 2016.

Still many of Poland's mines are unsafe, with methane gas that has led to a number of deadly explosions and cave-ins. The quake, whose cause was not yet clear, hit the Zofiowka mine at 11:00 am (0900 GMT) about 900 metres (3000 feet) below ground level, and all the other miners have been rescued, Anna Swiniarska-Tadla, a spokeswoman for the WUG mining office told PAP news agency.

In 2016, eight miners were killed in a cave-in at the Rudna mine in Polkowice and methane explosions killed five miners at the Myslowice-Wesola mine in 2014.


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