Russian TV: Sardinian miners armed with hundreds of pounds of explosives have barricaded themselves over 1300ft (400m) underground in Italy’s only coalmine, presumably threatening to blow themselves up unless the government vows to protect their jobs.
Up to 100 desperate workers seized 771lbs (350 kg) of company explosives and locked themselves inside the Carbosulcis di Nuraxi Figus mine overnight on Monday.
A load of coal has been dumped at the entrance of the mine, making access possible only by foot, according to Adnkronos International.
“We are worried that the mine may close. We are afraid for our jobs,” Sandro Mereu, a miner who has worked at the pit for 28 years, told Reuters.
Mereu said that he and other workers are prepared to stay at the mine indefinitely, until the government comes back with a positive response.
The government is due to meet later this week to discuss whether the mine will stay open.