Emergency workers rescued 29 miners but were unable to recover five others from a Bosnian coal mine after a small earthquake triggered a gas explosion on Sept. 4, The Guardian reported.
The men spent the night trapped more than 500 m (1,600 ft) below the ground before being rescued.
Esad Civic, the mine's manager, said the rescue effort had been halted after the 29 miners were pulled out. Rescuers said they were unable to reach the remaining men.
The union leader at the mine, Mehmed Oruc, said two tunnels collapsed on Thursday evening after a gas blast was triggered by a minor earthquake. He said 22 other miners managed to escape from the pit shortly after, two of whom were injured.
This was the third such incident at the mine this year. Sixteen miners were hurt in two previous gas explosions, the most recent less than four weeks ago. The mine was also the site of one of the greatest mining disasters in Bosnian history, when 39 workers were killed in a blast in 1982.
Families and union leaders accused the mine's managers of responding poorly to the latest collapse, particularly in initially claiming that only eight workers were trapped inside. Union leaders said authorities brought in rescue machinery some seven hours after the blast.
Civic, who rejected the claims, insisted that such accidents could not be avoided. But he conceded that the mine – once among the most modern in Europe – was now far below the world standard.