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Italian miners stage protest 400 meters underground armed with explosives


Local villagers work to scavenge coal illegally from an open-cast coal mine in the village of Jina Gora on February 11, 2012 near Jharia, India. Villagers in India's Eastern State of Jharkhand scavenge coal illegally from open-cast coal mines to earn a few dollars a day.


Daniel Berehulak

In what is probably the most intense occupy protest yet, dozens of Italian miners are occupying a mine 400 meters below the ground, Adnkronos International reported. The miners dumped a load of coal at the entrance to make access close to impossible unless visitors are on foot, thus barricading themselves inside the mine.

The group of about 100 miners also stole 350 kilos of company explosives before locking themselves in the mine, Reuters reported."We are worried that the mine may close. We are afraid for our jobs," Sandro Mereu, a miner, told Reuters."We will stay here indefinitely."

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Mining in the area has gone down in recent years as companies have moved their business to other countries, AKI reported. The miners want the local Italian government to use some of the money allocated to clean energy to keep the coal industry alive, Europe Online reported.

The protesters are proposing that the mine be diversified into a combined mining and carbon capture site to offset the environmental damages caused by coal, according to Reuters.