Technology has come a long way in improving mine and miners' safety. But despite advances, accidents - due to human error and numerous hazards - continue to occur, often with tragic consequences.
An illustration of the survivors of Europe's worst mining disaster which killed 1,099 miners 100 years ago on March 10, 1906 in Courrieres, northern France. Only 13 miners survived after being trapped underground for 20 days. (Reuters)
A Ukrainian miner walks through a cloud of steam after an accident occured in the water system at the Gorky mine in Donetsk, east of Kiev, Feb. 11, 1997. (Reuters)
FILE - An April, 1981 photo shows U.S. Bureau of Mines' John Stockalis (R) and Dan Lewis dropping a thermometer through a hole on Main Street in Centralia, Pa., to measure heat from a shaft mine blaze that had been burning under the town since 1962. (AP)
A vent used by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to monitor an underground coal mine fire near Centralia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 18, 2007. (Reuters)