Marcinelle mine disaster commemorated
9 August 2006, BRUSSELS — A commemorative service was held in Marcinelle on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Belgian mine disaster that left 262 miners dead.
9 August 2006
BRUSSELS — A commemorative service was held in Marcinelle on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Belgian mine disaster that left 262 miners dead.
Hundreds of people attended the service, including many prominent politicians such as Socialist PS stalwart Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe.
Members of the Charleroi City Council including Mayor Jacques Van Gompel attended the service, as did the mayors of several Italian communes.
A large number of miners from across the nation also converged on Marcinelle to pay their respects to the victims of the 8 August 1956 disaster.
On that day, a massive fire broke out in the shafts of the Le Bois du Cazier coal mine. Just six miners survived the disaster. In total, 262 miners lost their lives.
Among the dead were 136 Italians, 95 Belgians, eight Polish, 6 Greeks, five Germans and five French nationals. A Hungarian, British man, a Russian, a Ukrainian and a Dutch citizen were also killed.
At 8.10am on Tuesday — the precise moment at which the fire broke out 50 years ago — a clock started chiming 262 times to honour the victims, whose names were then read aloud.
A mass followed at 9am, officiated by papal nuncio Karl-Josef Rauber and representatives of other religious faiths.
The delegation then moved on to the Marcinelle city square where flowers were laid at the international monument erected to honour the victims. Another commemorative plate was also unveiled.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news