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Recovery effort underway after two die in Australia coal mine

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia-listed Yancoal Ltd said it was working with authorities to recover the bodies of two workers killed at its Austar coal mine in eastern Australia, which has ceased operations. The fatalities occurred late Wednesday when a wall supporting the underground coking coal mine about 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of Sydney gave way, trapping the two men about 500 meters (1,640 feet) below the surface.

New Zealand drops charges, accepts cash from boss of deadly mine in decision that angers some

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand's government on Thursday dropped all charges against the former boss of a coal mine where 29 miners died in an explosion and instead accepted a financial settlement — a decision that left some of the victim's relatives angry.

Charges dropped against New Zealand death mine boss

Charges against the head of a New Zealand mine where 29 men died in a 2010 gas explosion were dropped Thursday in a shock move that angered grieving relatives. Prosecutors said the case against former Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall was withdrawn as it was unlikely to succeed, also revealing Whittall and other mine bosses had agreed to pay compensation to families.

No manslaughter charges over New Zealand mine disaster

The families of 29 miners killed in a New Zealand pit explosion said Thursday they were "gutted" by a police decision not to lay manslaughter charges over the 2010 disaster. Police informed the families on Wednesday night that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the charges against the managers of the Pike River colliery. "I'm pretty gutted with the decision," said Neville Rockhouse, whose son Ben died in the November 2010 blast at the South Island mine.

NZ judge orders bankrupt coal company to pay families of 29 miners killed in 2010 explosion

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A bankrupt New Zealand coal company was ordered Friday to pay the families of 29 miners killed in a 2010 methane explosion, though they may receive just a fraction of the compensation. A judge ruled the miners' families and two survivors of the explosion should get 110,000 New Zealand dollars ($86,000) individually, an amount in doubt because Pike River Coal went into bankruptcy soon after the explosion.

New Zealand company found guilty over deadly mine blast

A New Zealand mining company that owned a colliery where 29 men died in a 2010 gas explosion was found guilty Thursday of safety breaches that led to the fatal blast. Judge Jane Farish found there was a direct link between safety breaches at Pike River Coal and the deaths at the South Island colliery on November 19, 2010 -- New Zealand's worst mine disaster in almost a century.

Nine trapped after Russia coal mine blast: official

Nine miners were feared trapped after an explosion Monday at their mine in the Komi region in Russia's Far North, the emergencies ministry said. A total of 259 miners were working underground when the explosion went off at the Vorkutinskaya mine, an emergencies ministry spokeswoman told AFP. Two hundred and fifty of them made it back to the surface but nine were still trapped underground. The nine miners are believed to be alive, the spokeswoman said. Initial reports had said around two dozen miners were working in the shaft where the explosion took place.
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