Explosion kills five at Romanian mine

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BUCHAREST – An explosion ripped through a coal mine in western Romania, killing five miners at a depth of some 400 metres (1,000 ft) below ground, authorities said late on Saturday. A rescue team found the bodies of the miners, between 30 and 35 years old, who had been working to repair a power transformer, Dan Buhaescu, mayor of the town of Uricani, was quoted as saying by news agency Agerpres.
Mining was once a thriving industry employing almost half a million people in Romania and miners were a feared political force in the 1990s. But the industry has struggled to compete against cheaper Russian coal and to keep customers in a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly age.