Three Germans killed in K+S potash mine blast

Three German miners lost their lives Tuesday after a controlled explosion at a K+S potash mine near the town of Unterbreizbach.

The blast caused a major carbon dioxide leak, poisoning the air of a 700 metre deep shaft in which seven miners were working. Only four managed to escape.

"A carbon dioxide leak occurred to an extent we did not expect after an explosion, and this led to the people dying," said the mine's operations manager, Rainer Gerling.

"After the explosions, we carry out checks to see how much carbon dioxide is in the mine. This was the actual job of these employees, and they were then surprised by the occurrence of CO2 on the site," he added.

The accident is now being investigated by K+S.