Friday 8 November 2013

Seven killed in two separate incidents at Albanian mines.

Seven people were killed in two separate incidents at mines in Albania on Thursday 7 November 2013. Five men, described as three brothers and two cousins died when they were overcome by fumes from a portable generator they had brought with them while looking for scrap metal at an abandoned coal mine in the Korçë region of eastern Albania. In a second incident later the same day two men were killed by a rockfall at a nickel mine at Berzhezhte in the eastern district of Librazhd.

The approximate locations  of the two 7 November 2013 Albanian mine incidents. Google Maps.

The state owned Albminiera company is responsible for managing security at the Korçë site. In theory 15 people should have been employed to guard the former mine, but since the incident it has emerged that only 33 people are employed to protect 33 former mining sites managed by the company across the country. The company has cited financial difficulties for this despite only having spent 5 of 120 million Albanian Leks allocated to the project (US$ 47 790 of US$1 145 000). The company claims that the expenses of decommissioning a further 224 mines managed by the company are making it hard to pay wages, and that requests for additional funding from the Albanian Government have been ignored.

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