AN INVESTIGATOR has laid charges against four managers of the mine at Hornonitrianske Bane Nováky following a fatal mine accident, the SITA newswire reported. Four miners were killed in a cave-in in the mine in west-central Slovakia on November 16, 2006. Eleven other miners escaped.
The four managers are accused of general endangerment and if found guilty could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, Katarína Hlaváčová, a spokesperson for Trenčín police told the SITA newswire.
The accident also destroyed heavy mining equipment worth over Sk198 million.
Several miners have launched public attacks on the company's management, blaming them for the deaths of their colleagues. According to the miners, the company saved money by not carrying out necessary monitoring at the mine sites.
In October 2007, the District Mining Office in Prievidza announced that, based on its investigation, it believed the tragedy had been caused by adverse geological conditions and violations of occupational safety rules.
However, the report was unable to conclude whether stricter adherence to the rules would have detected the conditions that caused the cave-in.