Europe

Italy miners in underground protest at Sardinia pit

  • 27 August 2012
  • From the section Europe
Still from video - the miners underground
Image caption The miners say they intend to stay underground until a meeting is held on Friday

About 100 protesting miners on the Italian island of Sardinia have barricaded themselves in a pit, with hundreds of kilograms of explosives.

They are trying to prevent the country's only coal mine from being shut down, leaving them without jobs.

The miners occupied the Carbosulcis mine on Monday and are now holed up some 400m underground.

They plan to stay there until meeting with the government to discuss the mine's future is held.

"I think anyone would protest like us, anyone who is losing their job is prepared to do anything," one miner told reporters.

"It's really serious, everything is closing in this country - it feels like the end of the world."

According to reports, the miners want the pit to be diversified into a combined mining and carbon capture site.

State funding is potentially available for carbon capture - a process of storing polluting emissions underground to help prevent global warming.

The miners have mounted similar protests during labour disputes in the past. In 1995 they occupied the pit for 100 days.

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