Thirty-four miners were trapped Friday deep inside a coal mine that collapsed in central Bosnia, officials said. They confirmed the miners were alive and had air for now.
The mine union leader at the Zenica coal mine, Mehmed Oruc, said two tunnels in the mine collapsed Thursday evening following a gas explosion triggered by a minor earthquake that had hit the area near the town of Zenica.
Oruc said the miners are more than 500 meters (1,600 feet) underground, but are alive and have enough air. He added that rescuers are hopeful the miners will be brought out soon.
He said 22 other miners managed to leave the pit after the tunnels collapsed, including two who were injured.
Oruc said rescuers are working around the clock to reach the trapped miners and have another 20 meters (65 feet) to dig through.
This is the third accident in the same mine since the start of the year. A total of 16 miners were hurt in two previous gas explosions, the most recent less than four weeks ago.