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Polish coal mine (archive photo)

Photo: Andrzej Grygiel/ dpa

Four miners have died in a mining accident in Poland. The accident occurred in the Sobieski coal mine in Jaworzno, Upper Silesia, the Upper Mining Authority in Katowice announced.

A six-member team cleaned a pipeline for flushing backfilling 500 meters underground. While the pipeline was being filled with water, an uncontrolled rupture occurred. According to the information, four miners were killed and another suffered injuries.

At first, it was unclear why the pipeline broke. The Sobieski mine is located in the Silesian coal region, not far from Poland's borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

In flush backfilling, cavities created by mining the coal underground are filled with a liquid mixture of water, sand, ash and soil via a pipe. This is to prevent the surface under the mine from sinking.