Six dead in Spain after coal mine gas leak

At least six people are dead after a gas leak at a coal mine in Castile and Leon – an autonomous region of north-western Spain, AFP reports.

"There seems to have been a leak of methane gas," the mayor of Pola de Gordon where the mine is located told reporters.

The miners were between 35 and 41 years old, Spain's El Economista reports (in Spanish).

The mine, El Pozo Emilio del Valle, is 694 meters deep and employs 400 workers.

El Economista also notes that CCOO and UGT, two of the country's largest trade unions, have called on Spain's entire mining sector to suspend work for 48 hours as a sign of respect for Monday's victims. The union is also calling on the regional mining commission (la Comisión Regional de Minería) to convene immediately in order to discuss the incident and determine the causes. Unions claim it's been years since the commission met.

Around 40 coal mines in Spain are still running but, like many European Union states, the country is winding down these operations.