Workers rescued after explosion at east German mine

Two people were injured in an accident in the Teutschenthal mine in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt on Friday morning.

Workers rescued after explosion at east German mine
The Teutschenthal mine site in Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: DPA

One victim was seriously injured, the other slightly injured, said a police spokeswoman in Halle (Saale), near where the incident occurred in the Saalekreis district. Both have been taken to hospital.

Following an explosion in the mine, about 35 people were trapped underground at a depth of about 700 meters. 

The workers were able to escape to a so-called safety room, where they were supplied with oxygen, said a spokesman for the State Mining Office in Halle on Friday.

According to Halle police on Twitter, all people were rescued safely.

Emergency forces arrived to the site at around 9am, according to a spokeswoman. A large number of rescue workers, as well as the local fire brigade, showed up to the scene. 

The State Office for Geology and Mining was also there to offer assistance for the technically tricky rescue operation.

About 100 people work in the Teutschenthal mine, according to the company. Over the past 15 years, the mine, which was shut down in 1982, has been rebuilt. 

Today, mineral waste is dumped on 14 square kilometers of land. Previously, the mine had been used for potash salt extraction for around 80 years.


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Photo of the Day: The squirrel who got stuck in a German manhole cover

A squirrel in the western German city of Dortmund sparked a major rescue operation after it got stuck in a manhole cover.

Photo of the Day: The squirrel who got stuck in a German manhole cover
The squirrel sparked a rescue operation. Photo: Feuerwehr Dortmund

The squirrel was discovered with its head poking through the drain cover in the city's Hainalle on Thursday morning. Emergency services were alerted around 10.30am.

Firefighters presumed that the rodent had tried to escape from the sewer system through the manhole cover – but had unfortunately got into a sticky situation during the process.

Rescue teams didn't manage to free the squirrel so they took the manhole cover – with the animal stuck inside – to a nearby vet.

Photo: Feuerwehr Dortmund

Vet staff then managed to release the squirrel after putting it under an anaesthetic.

The squirrel had some injuries to its neck, but they were not thought to be serious. The tiny animal will receive further treatment at the vet.

The manhole cover was replaced after the rescue.

Not the first animal to get stuck in Germany

Earlier this year a rat in Bensheim, Hesse, had to be rescued from a manhole cover after becoming stuck.

The rat was discovered with its head and upper body protruding from the manhole cover in the town about 30 kilometres south of Frankfurt.

The rat had been trapped due to too much ‘Winterspeck', a German word which literally translates to ‘winter bacon' and refers to the extra weight one puts on during the winter period.