The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Fourteen Dead at the Bottom of a Mine

Sep 28, 2009

On September 13, a methane explosion killed a dozen miners in a mine in Wujek-Slask, in the south of Poland. Of the 43 wounded who were brought up, two later died in the hospital and five were in very serious condition.

Miners questioned by Polish television said they had to go deeper and deeper to find coal, increasing the risk of falling into methane pockets. Of course, the miners were given gas detectors, but some of the detectors had been tampered with. Miners said that when they brought their own detectors, they indicated a methane level higher than the official data.

The Polish government ordered two days of national mourning. It promised an inquiry would be made about the accident. This is exactly what it said three years ago, after an explosion killed 26 miners in the Halemba mine, in the same region of Silesia. At that time, the company sent miners to the bottom of an unused mine to bring back equipment. The inquiry is still going on ...

While 100,000 Polish miners go down deeper and deeper into the earth, the owners of the coal-burning power plants, the main customers of the mines, convert cheap coal into electricity and profit from it.